Aston Villa captain Ron Vlaar has endured a frustrating five weeks on the sidelines, but the centre-back is targeting the club’s trip to Everton on October 18 for his return.
Vlaar has been out of action since straining his calf in the 1-0 win home win over Hull on August 31, with the Dutch international forced to miss the next four Premier League games against Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City, respectively.
While Paul Lambert’s side managed to achieve a shock 1-0 win at Anfield in his absence, the team have since conceded eight goals and scored none over three successive defeats, following a start which saw them pick up 10 points from their opening four fixtures.
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Villa still sit tenth in the table at present, but Vlaar’s presence at the back is needed and, after missing out on the Dutch squad for the forthcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Iceland, the veteran defender expects to be back for the club’s next league clash at Goodison Park.
‘My calf is improving all the time but I’ve already resigned myself to missing Holland’s next two European Championship qualifiers,’ he told the Birmingham Mail.
‘That would make the game against Everton at Goodison Park in two weeks’ time my target for a comeback.
‘It’s so annoying to be missing crucial games against top sides.’
Vlaar’s replacement Nathan Baker has done a solid job of deputising in the meantime, despite the recent run of defeats, but the club’s World Cup hero expects to be well-established in the lineup before the next home match against Tottenham Hotspur on November 4.
‘By then [the Spurs game] hopefully I will be established back in the line-up,’ he finished.