Player power. The meaning of those two words in football has grown increasingly strong over the history of the transfer window.
So prominent is the figurative muscle that professionals now boast in the market, that windows can now be indexed by the audacious attempts players made to switch clubs.
Remember Peter Odemwingie’s arrival at Loftus Road in January 2013? What about when William Gallas issued Chelsea that own goal threat way back in 2006?
Well, mark the 2015 summer window down as The One When Ron Vlaar Decided He Was Better Than Aston Villa.
The Dutch star, who has received an offer worth £15m from the Midlands outfit to extend the deal that expires this month, presented the following set of contradictory quotes about his situation recently:
“I want to maximise my career and I think I can go a step higher. I will look at it and go quietly.”
With Aston Villa 4/1 to battle it out in yet another relegation fight next season, news.ladbrokes list three potential “higher steps” Vlaar may consider this summer:
Spurs’ defensive frailties were clear for all to see this season, with the north London club shipping the most goals of any top-half Premier League side and more than relegated Hull.
Younes Kaboul and Vlad Chiriches were rarely seen despite those shortcomings, leaving Mauricio Pochettino little option but to embark on a recruitment drive at the back this summer.
The Europa League qualifiers were the top-half antithesis of Spurs, claiming the division’s second-best defensive record in Ronald Koeman’s debut season on the south coast.
However, one of the flag-bearers for the Saints’ stinginess, Toby Alderweireld, will be returning to Atletico Madrid after the completion of his loan, creating a vacancy to partner Jose Fonte in the heart of Southampton’s defence.
If no side on these shores presents itself, it could be that the Serie A Champions League qualifiers becomes a more reasonable option.
The Biancocelesti need to negotiate the Uefa competition’s qualifiers first, but should they do so then a beef-up of their squad will be required.
The presence of fellow Dutch defenders Stefan de Vrij and Edson Braafheid holds obvious appeal too.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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