Vlaar relishing Villa link-up with old pal El Ahmadi
Ron Vlaar says former Feyenoord team-mate Karim El Ahmadi has been instrumental in helping him settle in at Villa.
Now Vlaar hopes he and El Ahmadi can enjoy more successful times together after achieving a runners-up spot in Holland's Eredivisie last term.
The 27-year-old Dutch defender admits the familiar face of El Ahmadi has instantly made him feel at home.
Villa's new boys played huge roles for Feyenoord last season as the Rotterdam club qualified for the Champions League.
"I am looking forward to linking up with Karim again," he said.
"We sat next to each other in the dressing room at Feyenoord. We know each other really well.
"To have Karim here makes it easier for me to settle and become a member of the group.
"I will feel at home. It certainly makes it easier.
"But even if that wasn't the case you find your way. We will see what happens.
"I have heard some good stories from Karim about the club, the way of living here in Birmingham - the area is fantastic - and the training."
Meanwhile, manager Paul Lambert has backed Vlaar to form a strong partnership with Ciaran Clark when the Barclays Premier League campaign gets underway.
The duo are likely to be Villa's starting central defensive pair with Richard Dunne injured and James Collins returning to West Ham.
"The fans gave Ron a great reception and I thought his performance at the weekend was excellent," said Lambert.
"I'm pleased we have got him because he'll be a good player for us.
"He's the kind of person who will fit in straight away.
"Ron and Ciaran were excellent together at the weekend and combined well as a partnership.
"For a young guy Ciaran handles himself very well.
"He offers great balance on the left side of the pair and I'm really pleased with how they developed an understanding."
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