Football - Vlaar could leave Villa next season

Ron Vlaar hinted he will have to consider his Aston Villa future if Paul Lambert's side are relegated from the Barclays Premier League.

PA Sport

The 28-year-old defender, who joined Villa from Feyenoord last summer, has his sights set on a place in the Holland squad at next year's World Cup.

He said: "That's my goal, to go to the World Cup, every time I'm in the squad, but I just want to stay up with Villa. That's the most important thing for now and, if we play in the Premier League, that's good enough."

Whether Villa stay up or go down, they are likely to face a fight to keep hold of striker Christian Benteke.

The 22-year-old has been a huge success in a difficult season for Villa, scoring 19 goals in his first campaign in England following a summer move from Genk.

Defender Vlaar is happy he does not have to face the big Belgian too often in training, saying: "He's unbelievably strong.

"Fortunately when we play 11 versus 11 he's always on my team because most of the time we are getting ready for the next game.

"He's only 22. I don't think there are young players who have done more than him this season. He has been very important and he will be important again in these last couple of games for us.

"He also had to get used to the way of playing in England so he also learned to defend himself, keeping the ball and things like that, so he has definitely become a stronger player."

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