On 1 August 2012, Aston Villa officially unveiled Ron Vlaar as one of their newest signings.
The Feyenoord centre-back joined Paul Lambert’s side on a three-year contract for a transfer fee thought to be around £3.42million, per Transfermarkt.
The Dutchman had come with a growing reputation in the game and had started to become a key figure within the Holland international setup, and was included in their Euro 2012 squad having been on the periphery of their 2010 World Cup team.
Aston Villa fans were excited by the news that Vlaar would be one of their players, with many believing he would instantly upgrade their defence.
Here were some of their reactions…
Good job vlaar has singed, we've been desperate for a new CB! #AVFC
— Leo Valdmanis (@avfcleo) August 1, 2012
— Alan Trunks (@metrunker) August 1, 2012
— Andrew Thomas (@and83thomas) August 1, 2012
ron vlaar he was the feyenoord captain also a dutch international & plays football the right way on the floor quality signing! #avfc
— Jamie Justin Wheeler (@Jay_Pt_Gym) August 1, 2012
Get in there, Collins have left Villa and Vlaar has joined Villa!
— avillafan.com (@Avillafan) August 1, 2012
— John (@hopeyistheman) August 1, 2012
— Ben33 (@BenAVCeltics) August 2, 2012
And, Vlaar had a rather successful career at Villa Park and became a favourite with the fans during his time in Birmingham.
His time at Aston Villa had been blighted with injuries, but he did go onto make 88 appearances in total for the side over the three seasons he was in England.
Despite consistently fighting against relegation from the Premier League, the Dutch international put in a number of solid performances for The Villans, which saw him go to the 2014 World Cup and play all seven of their matches and win plaudits for his displays.
Having returned to Aston Villa from the tournament, Vlaar helped the club to reach the FA Cup final – although they were beaten 4-0 by Arsenal at Wembley.
Admittedly, he had suffered with a number of injury concerns throughout that campaign and then decided against signing a new contract and left in the summer.
He has since returned to AZ Alkmaar, the club he started at as a boy, and has gone on to make a number of appearances for them in the Eredivisie.
With the problems that the now-Championship side have at the back, Dean Smith would surely like to have the experienced 33-year-old back at Villa Park to help them return to the top-flight.
Aston Villa fans – thoughts?