Arsenal have been given fresh hopes in the bid to see off Manchester United in the race for Aston Villa captain, Ron Vlaar, as the player’s manager has refused to guarantee him a straight return into the team according to Daily Star.
The Villans go to in-form West Ham this weekend, with both Vlaar and England midfielder Fabian Delph back from spells on the sidelines due to injury. Vlaar has particularly been in and out of the team this season, and has recently nursed a calf injury believed to have come back with him from Brazil, where he earned himself an embellished reputation as a strong defender. Vlaar has since been tracked by both Arsenal and United, with the view of a January move.
With Ciaran Clark and Jores Okore pairing up since in the Villa defence in the absences of both Vlaar and his usual partner Senderos, Paul Lambert does not want to tinker with the stability that has brewed amongst the two youngsters, and will keep the captain on the bench.
This could be the go-ahead for Vlaar to seek his future elsewhere, possibly inviting renewed interest from the two Premier League clubs regularly rumoured to have a willingness to get hitched with him. Vlaar, 29, does not have much time left in his career before he considers a big move to a top club, and after two solid years at Villa, the least he would want will be an anti-climax spell on a the sidelines.
If there is going to be a major tussle between Manchester United and Arsenal in the January window, it will surely involve a defender as both club’s are in dire need of improvements in that department. With injuries and departures causing huge gaps in both Arsenal and United’s defence this season, it is expected that both will be going into the winter window with the acquisition of a true defensive leader as a top priority. Vlaar’s premier League experience makes him a hot prospect as he is seen as having no need of adaptation which would be expected for players from foreign lands.
Arsene Wenger currently finds himself in a situation where he even has no central defender to prosecute the upcoming League encounter this evening against Newcastle, and for the second category this season, would have to convert a full-back to center-half with Mattiue Debuchy set to face his old club as the partner to Per Mertesacker.
With the schedule of games to come in the New Year increased due to the FA Cup, Wenger will need a squad much more balanced and natural that the lop-sided one available at the moment, and Vlaar could be that elusive 4th center back we so desperately need.
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