Van der Vaart In Real Madrid Squad For Villarreal Game
Injuries means the Dutch midfielder is involved for the first time this season.
Real Madrid’s forgotten Dutch midfielder Rafael Van der Vaart has been included in a match day squad for Los Merengues for the first time this season.
Injuries to a number of key first team personnel and centre-half Pepe still serving a suspension means that their is a place for the 26-year-old in the 18-man squad for Wednesday’s game against Villarreal.
Van der Vaart joined Madrid from Bundesliga side Hamburg in August 2008 and made 40 appearances for the Blancos in his first season.
However following the signing of Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo and Xabi Alonso midfield places are limited and Van der Vaart was reportedly told during the summer by coach Manuel Pellegrini that he was no longer needed at the club and was free to leave the Bernabeu.
Now with Alonso, Alvaro Arbeloa, Christoph Metzelder and Ruud van Nistelrooy all absent due to injury, the Chilean coach has included the Dutch star in the squad for the trip to the Madrigal. It may be a final opportunity for Van der Vaart to impress Pellegrini and force his way into his plans for the season ahead although he will most likely start from the bench.