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Italian fans demand Aston Villa man over ex-Chelsea 'next John Terry'

Serie A enthusiasts voted overwhelmingly for Aston Villa’s Ron Vlaar to be brought to Italy this summer over ex-Chelsea man Jeffrey Bruma in a poll from journalist Alfredo Pedulla.

Securing a reliable defender at a reasonable cost is certainly something to write home about, especially in a contemporary transfer landscape dominated by mega-money moves.

David Luiz’s recent record-setting £50 million move to PSG turned heads, whilst the Parisian outfit’s £30 million capture of teenage Marquinhos last summer similarly attracted plenty of attention.

The premium placed on high-calibre players is ever-increasing with fees such as these, making quality budget deals by clubs with less financial clout more difficult - and at the same time more impressive.

Italian transfer specialist Alfredo Pedulla confronted this phenomenon in a recent poll by asking Serie A fans to pick one of four ‘affordable’ defenders that they’d most like to see land in Italy for the coming season.

Aston Villa’s Ron Vlaar, Brazil U-20 captain Doria, Basel man Fabian Schar and former Chelsea prospect Jeffrey Bruma rounded out the list of centre-backs to choose from.

Respondents voted overwhelmingly in favour of Vlaar at 59.8%, the Dutchman’s impressive World Cup under the guidance of Louis van Gaal certainly fresh in their minds.

Vlaar has been linked most prominently with Juventus and Lazio whilst Villa look to tie him down to a new contract - his current deal at Villa Park set to expire next summer.

By far the oldest athlete available for selection, his top position in the poll underlines just how heavily a prime performance at the World Cup can define public opinion surrounding a player.

Indeed, 19-year-old Botafogo star Doria lags far behind with 17.4% of the vote, with 22-year-old Schar picking up 13% and Bruma bringing up the rear with 9.8%.

Bruma is still only 22 himself, though his reputation seems to have taken quite a hit after being called John Terry’s heir and never really breaking through in six years on Chelsea’s books.

Plying his trade for PSV Eindhoven after departing Stamford Bridge last summer, like Vlaar he has been tipped as a reinforcement option for both Juventus and Lazio. At Lazio he could partner new signing and international partner Stefan de Vrij.

Of course, fans ultimately are free to wield their beliefs but will have little affect on which of the four - if any - of Vlaar, Bruma, Doria and Schar take their talents to Serie A. 

Anything can happen with just under a month to go in the transfer window - and as such, fans can do nothing but sit back and see how the market unfolds in the coming weeks.

In this case, however, it’s clear ‘affordable’ experience and demonstrated excellence on the world stage have taken precedence in supporters’ minds over potential - leaving Vlaar the preferred choice in Italy with the clock ticking towards deadline day.

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