Van Persie is my Player of the Year, not Suarez – Vlaar

The Aston Villa captain thinks the prolific Uruguayan has overcome his diving reputation this season, but still believes his fellow countryman has been more decisive

Aston Villa captain Ron Vlaar has revealed he is voting for Robin van Persie ahead of Luis Suarez as his PFA Player of the Year.

Along with Gareth Bale and Juan Mata, Suarez and Van Persie are considered front runners for the award, for which the voting closes on Tuesday.

But while Suarez is the Premier League’s top scorer, Vlaar has his reasons for hailing his fellow Dutchman as the best footballer in England this season.

“You could say it is because he is my mate, but I think we can all see how good Robin is, even if Suarez has more goals,” he told reporters.

“Overall, Manchester United are top of the League and he has made the ­difference.

“It was 15 points this week – that is ­unbelievable.”

Suarez’s reputation for diving is expected by some to count against him in the final reckoning for the award, and Vlaar admits the Uruguayan found himself in a similar situation in the Netherlands.

“You talk about the dives in England, but it was the same in Holland. What can I say? Things happen in a game, the story follows him,” he added.

“I remember there were some issues in the ­papers at home where it was talked about.

“But it has stopped here, just as it did eventually in Holland. I think his quality as a player has made that change.

“I think he wants us to talk about his qualities and he is doing the right things at the moment to make that happen.”

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