Villa wrap up Vlaar swoop
Aston Villa have completed the signing of Dutch international defender Ron Vlaar, who has moved from Feyenoord on a three-year contract.
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Villa announced on Friday that Vlaar would be signing for them after agreeing personal terms - subject to passing a medical - and that has been successfully completed.
The fee is understood to be around £3million and centre-back Vlaar, part of his country's Euro 2012 squad, becomes Villa's fourth signing of the summer.
It is also the second player new Villa manager Paul Lambert has signed from the Rotterdam club after the arrival of midfielder Karim El Ahmadi, also for around £3million.
Vlaar held talks with Lambert earlier in the month and he said goodbye over the weekend to his Feyenoord team-mates before linking up with Villa at their Bodymoor Heath training complex on Wednesday.
Vlaar, 27, broke into senior football with AZ Alkmaar before joining Feyenoord in 2006.
He had initial injury problems at Feyenoord and was sidelined for almost two years with two cruciate ligament setbacks.
But during the past three years he has been a key figure for Feyenoord.
He formed an impressive partnership with Brazilian defender Andre Bahia and helped his club make sure of their place in qualifying for next season's Champions League.
Vlaar, who made his international debut under Marco van Basten seven years ago, has set his sights on emulating the likes of Paul McGrath, Olof Mellberg and Martin Laursen.
Vlaar is aware of the pedigree of previous centre-backs at Villa Park and is determined to make his mark.
He said: "I am looking forward to following in the footsteps of players such as Paul McGrath, Olof Mellberg and Martin Laursen - all of them great players for this club.
"But I also do things for myself because I want to get the very best out of myself. I can't do it alone.
"I also need the other players in the team as well as the fans, who are so important. By us all working hard for one another, we can achieve our goals.
"We must work together to make things better and to get good results. We have to do it on the pitch and, with the support of the fans, we can get it going together."
Vlaar is convinced his best years are ahead of him after committing himself to Villa until the end of the 2014-2015 campaign and wants to bring success back to the club after two poor seasons.
He said: "This is a dream come true for me.
"With my past, I am very proud but I always look forward and this is a great opportunity. I am very happy that Villa have given me this chance.
"For me, I want to play a lot and improve my play and do well with the team. That's most important.
"I am 27 years old and I know my best years are ahead of me. I feel fit and strong and I am looking forward very much to playing my first game.
"I know some of Villa's history and I have been in the stadium already and saw all of the pictures of great achievements. I really believe we can bring the happiness back."
"I think there is a lot of quality here and, if we play like we can as a team, we will make it difficult for other teams to beat us."
Lambert is convinced Vlaar's class and pedigree will ensure he is a success in the Premier League.
The Scot said: "Ron is a really good defender and he has a wealth of experience for both Holland and a big football club in Feyenoord, so I'm delighted we have got him here to Villa.
"I like the way the guy wants to do well. He's hungry and he wants to succeed. He's also a really good, strong defender and hopefully we will get the benefit of him in our team.
"Certainly, I have no worries about his career so far. He's captained Feyenoord, who finished second last season in the Dutch Eredivisie, to qualify for the Champions League.
"He's been in the Dutch international set-up and was part of the Euros, so he's a proper player. He'll bring something to the club, no doubt about it."