Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood issues challenge to Ron Vlaar

The soon-to-be out-of-contract Dutchman has to prove he's worth a new deal during the final months of the season.

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has stressed that the oft-injured Ron Vlaar has to earn a new contract during the final months of the season, telling the Daily Mail that an extension hasn’t even been discussed at this point.

Vlaar, 30, has missed the past four games with a nagging calf problem, with his absence coming off the back of a one-match suspension picked up in the 2-1 defeat to Stoke, when he was sent off after conceding a last-gasp spot-kick.

After his impressive World Cup showing for Louis van Gaal’s Netherland side, it’s been somewhat of a nightmare campaign for the experienced centre-back, having seen injuries limit him to 14 appearances and his reputation among the claret and blue faithful nosedive.

Out of contract in the summer, rumours of a reunion with his compatriot at Manchester United have persisted since his compatriot swapped international football for the Old Trafford hotseat, per the Mail, but his subsequent fitness struggles have poured doubt on such a move.

In addition, with Ciaran Clark and Jores Okore striking up a strong rapport in the heart of defence in his absence, there’s a strong argument to make that Vlaar has even been made expendable at Villa Park.

The Dutchman is now back fit and in contention for the weekend’s trip to United, however, and Sherwood has challenged him to show his worth from now until the end of the season.

“We all know what he has done over the years but when people are putting their hands in their pockets to fork out money, they want to know they are getting value,” said the Villa boss.

“He was right up there with the best at the World Cup but people have short memories. You are always looking at what people are doing now rather than a few months ago.

“He will have far more options open to him if he is in the shop window that's for sure.

“He realises he needs to be playing. I haven't even bothered speaking to him. There's time for that when we are safe,” added Sherwood.

“He is just concentrating on getting fit to play. Without getting on the pitch, he's not going to be an attractive proposition to anybody.”

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