Why Aston Villa must not sell Ron Vlaar in January

Trinity Road Stand - Aston Villa

Aston Villa would be foolish to sell Ron Vlaar on the cheap in the January transfer window.

Aston Villa must resist the temptation to cash in on Ron Vlaar in January, as it could cost them money in the long term. 

Vlaar's contract expires in the summer and Villa are understandably fearful of losing one of their key players without receiving any money for him.

However, accepting a bid of around £4 million to make a short-term profit is likely to hurt them in the future. 

Villa are locked in a relegation battle and they need  their most talented players available to them if they are to beat the drop. They are clearly a weaker team without Vlaar and, given the fact that Lambert is unlikely to have masses of funds to spend, a loss of a player of his quality could be the move that sends them down to the Championship. 

A drop to the second tier would be disastrous for the side and the amount of money it would cost them would far outweigh any gain they could make from selling Vlaar. 

The Dutchman is apparently of interest to the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United, which highlights his class, and he remains one of Villa's finest players.

Although Lambert is hopeful of keeping the 29-year-old, the chances of him signing a new deal look unlikely due to his wage demands. 

It means that the Midlands side face the prospect of losing him without receiving a fee - but is that not favourable to finishing in the bottom three?

Vlaar and Philippe Senderos's partnership at the heart of Villa's defence was key to their good start but since this has been broken up, due to injuries, their form has tailed off.

That is an indication of how imperative the Dutch international is to this Villa team and maintaining their top-tier status without him looks a tough challenge. 

The side go into a tricky game against Southampton having failed to win any of their last seven matches and, unless they can drastically improve, Championship football looks a real possibility next season. 

That progression is unlikely to be made if they send out the message that they are happy to sell their best players simply to raise some funds and, as a result, keeping Vlaar in January may be more important than any player they can bring in. 

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch