Southampton-linked Ron Vlaar set to undergo knee surgery following Aston Villa departure

The 30-year-old fee agent will go under the knife next week following an injury-hit season at Villa Park.

Ron Vlaar’s club future is still to be decided after leaving Aston Villa at the start of this month, but now the 30-year-old defender looks set to delay his next move to undergo imminent knee surgery.

Speaking to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, the Netherlands international said: "It is a minor operation, which unfortunately has to happen.

“The removal of a piece of meniscus from my left knee is necessary in order to be in top condition again. It is better to have surgery now than during the season.

“The expectation is that I can start training again two days after surgery. Within three to four weeks, I should be 100 per cent.”

 2014-15 Premier League PositionTeamErrors Lead To GoalTotal Tackles GAMETackles AccuracyTotal Clearances GAMEHeaders Won GAMEHeader SuccessInterception GAMEPassing AccuracyAppearancesMins Played
Ron Vlaar DF Aston Villa 1 0.85 65% 5.75 1.2 52.17% 2.05 82% 20 1,646

News of Vlaar going under the knife will come as little surprise to Villa fans, having witnessed the Dutchman struggle through calf and knee injuries last season to make just 23 total appearances.

The experienced centre-back also lost the captain’s armband to Fabian Delph following Tim Sherwood’s appointment as manager, having failed to commit his future to the club ahead of becoming a free agent this summer.

Villa did offer him fresh terms last month but, with his contract now expired, the former Feyenoord defender looks set for a new challenge after recently telling Voetbal International that he could go “a step higher” than the claret and blues.

Linked with a host of clubs since his impressive World Cup campaign with Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands side, the latest reports have suggested that Southampton boss Ronald Koeman is preparing an offer, having managed the veteran stopper during his time at De Kuip [h/t Daily Mirror].

Newcastle United, Sunderland and Turkish giants Beikstas have also been named as potential suitors [h/t Daily Mail] but Vlaar himself stressed to De Telegraaf that nothing on his future has been decided at this point.

Adding on still being unsigned, he said: "When clubs start [the season], this is the story. Right now my priority is in top shape. If I am, I know I'm ready for the next level in my career.

“I still have the drive and ambition every day to bring out the best in myself. I know I can do better and that I just go to show.”

Nevertheless, considering both his age and recent fitness record, one can understand if clubs might be somewhat reluctant to offer Vlaar the kind of deal he is looking for once he gets back to full fitness.

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