Darren Bent critical of Ron Vlaar's comments on his Aston Villa future

The soon-to-be free agent suggested earlier this week that he could go "a step higher" than the claret and blues.

Ron Vlaar’s claim that he can do better than Aston Villa was “a bit disrespectful” to the club, former teammate Darren Bent has told TalkSport.

Vlaar, 30, is out of contract at the end of the month and has been linked with a whole host of clubs since his impressive 2014 World Cup campaign with Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands side, with the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Southampton named as potential destinations [h/t Sky Sports].

While he has been offered fresh terms, the veteran centre-back both hinted at an exit and angered the claret and blue faithful earlier this week when he told the Dutch media that he could go “a step higher” than Villa.

Speaking to Voetbal International ahead of the Netherlands' crucial Euro 2016 qualifier against Latvia, Vlaar said: “I have in consideration [a new deal], I think about it. I want to maximize my career and think I can go a step higher. I will look at it [before deciding].”

Bent, who was teammates with Vlaar at Villa between 2012 and 2015 before being released this week, insists the Dutchman has all the attributes to be one of Europe’s top defenders but does not believe he should have made such comments in regards to his future.

"It is a bit disrespectful to say he is bigger than Villa, because Villa is a big club,” said the Derby County-bound striker. “But it his decision and he has got all the attributes to be one of the best centre-backs in the world."

Vlaar’s remarks also come off the back off a disappointing season at Villa, in which he was restricted to just 23 total appearances due to various injuries and lost the captain’s armband to Fabian Delph during the Premier League run-in.

"He has had a frustrating year with injures, picking up little niggles here and there,” added Bent. “But as people saw at the [2014] World Cup, when he is on top form he is one of the best defenders in the world.”

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