Should Ron Vlaar’s Next Step be Arsenal?

Ben Sutherland - Flickr Media Commons
Ben Sutherland - Flickr Media Commons /

Aston Villa and Ron Vlaar appear ready to part ways as the hulking Dutch defender believes that he is just too good for the FA Cup Runner-Ups. He said: “I want to maximise my career and I think I can go a step higher. I will look at it and go quietly,” (via the Daily Star).

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Vlaar was offered a contract extension by Aston Villa but that seems like a fall-back option for him.

Arsenal had been keen on Ron Vlaar in the past, prior to signing Gabriel Paulista, but it begs to be questioned if they are still in on him now. As mentioned, Vlaar is what one would consider a “hulking” defender, as he stands at 6’2″ and 178 pounds. However, despite his size, he only wins about 50% of his aerial duels (via

When put up against Martin Skrtel, who is also rumored to be on the move, Ron Vlaar only exceeds in interceptions. He’s still a more than adequate tackler, as he wins 75% of his duels compared to Laurent Koscielny’s 77% but his interceptions, his aforementioned strong suit on Skrtel, pale by nearly an 1.5 per game when compared to the intercepting master, Koscielny.

So is Ron Vlaar really a good option for Arsenal?

Vlaar is a physical guy, he is an adept tackler and he can use his size well. But he does not fully utilize the potential of his frame. No one his size should only be winning 50% of their aerial duels. He is like a lesser version of Skrtel in terms of tackling, Vlaar’s strongest quality, and he is lesser than Laurent Koscielny in every available stat.

But Ron Vlaar does have a couple perks. Obviously, he’s free. His contract has run out and he is looking for a new home. Arsene Wenger likes a good bargain and if you put Ron Vlaar’s free price tag next to Martin Skrtel’s 20+ million tag, it may weigh in Vlaar’s favor solely based on price.

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Next to that, Ron Vlaar wouldn’t be a first team contender, at least not right away. He would provide back up but he would not be raising a fit if he was not finding the first team opportunities to his liking. By that token, he would be an excellent cover for any potential injuries – a role that Arsenal have lacked at times on the defensive line.

And it also must be mentioned that with all of the competitions Arsenal are going to be involved in, they can not really have too many defenders.

Overall, a free move for Vlaar may not be the dynamic game-changing move that Gooner nation is hoping to see, but it could be a good, quality, depth signing, and that can work just as well.

Next: And then there's Martin Skrtel

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