Stopper eyes Vlaar pairing
Ciaran Clark is hoping to be the man Paul Lambert opts to pair alongside new signing Ron Vlaar in the Aston Villa defence this season.
Villa swooped to sign 27-year-old Dutch international central defender, Vlaar, on a three-year deal from Feyenoord earlier in the week, while James Collins departed for a return to his former club West Ham and Carlos Cuellar joined Sunderland on a Bosman free transfer. It seems Villa boss Lambert will select Vlaar as one of his defensive options which leaves Clark to battle it out with the likes of veteran Richard Dunne, Nathan Baker and new boy Matthew Lowton for a place in the XI. On Vlaar, Clark told the club's website: "I am sure he will be a big presence for us at the back. He's a big lad! "I get the feeling not only will be trying to stop goals he'll be attempting to score his fair share too. I am sure he will do that. At set-pieces that will be a massive boost for us. "I'd love to play at the back with him. He's a Dutch international who played in the Euros. "It would be brilliant to be alongside him in the heart of the defence. Saying that, I'd be happy pairing up with any of the lads - Nathan, Dunnie, Matty. I am just looking to get in there and nail down a position."