Is it a plane? Is it a bird? No, it’s Vlad Chiriches! After realising just how good this defender really is, I am sure he will be a world beater in a few years time. His deft reading of the game, poised balance and anticipation are just some of the weapons in his war chest. Early signs suggest, if I can borrow a phrase from Harry Redknapp’s dictionary, that this boy is going to be a ‘top, top player’.
Now let’s be honest, how many of us had ever heard of Vlad Chiriches? I do not think I was alone in thinking we were on the verge of making a grave mistake. Letting a rare promising English talent in the mould of Caulker leave to replace him with…who? Patience is a flower that doesn’t grow in every mans garden and if not for my beautiful (Spurs converted) wife, I would have given up my research on him there and then. I just could not get his name to roll off my tongue.
Initial investigations led me to believe he was an icon in his native Romania and to describe him as even a star is an under-statement. In Romania he is a rock star! It was not by chance that he would become the most expensive player ever for his former club Steaua Bucharest. His growing reputation and glowing performances caught the attention of some of Europe’s giants. Powerhouses like Barcelona and Milan were all reported to be keeping an eye on Vlad’s encouraging development. As a colossus at the heart of Steaua’s defense, he contributed a lot to their domestic progression. Scoring memorable goals in important games, like his magical overhead kick against Molde, are just the stuff dreams are made of. That’s not including the rocket launchers he blasted against Ajax in the 2012/2013 Europa League campaign. Don’t take my word for it. It takes seeing to believe it.
Vlad in my opinion is like a right footed Vertonghen. A player whose primary duties are to defend but does not need a second invitation to bomb forward with real aplomb. On his league debut, he did reasonably well against Aston Villa. In the Europa League against FC Sheriff, he made a goal line clearance that deserved its weight in the purest gold. Before that very incident, he displayed a smooth piece of skill that just oozed quality. An on rushing FC Sheriff player attempted to press Vlad, who with one looping touch over his head, left his opponent in his wake. Genuine class. These snippets of quality are just the early signs of a player with immense potential.
For a young man from humble beginnings, he is now an established international player with 22 caps for Romania. Our 6ft 1″ stalwart, is a promising talent to watch for the future.
Have something to tell us about this article?