Robin van der Laan

Robin van der Laan

Time at club: 1991-1995

Appearances: 210

Goals: 26

Comments:

The club’s first foreign signing proved to be a massive success after his move from Dutch football.

Van der Laan was signed by John Rudge for £80,000 in 1991. Originally a striker, he was serving a lengthy ban in his home country and welcomed the chance to move into the English game.

Rudge eventually converted van der Laan into a all-action, hard-tackling and goalscoring midfielder. Arguably his crowning acheivements as a Vale player were cup goals against Liverpool and Stoke City and appearances in the Autoglass Trophy final winning side and the 1993-94 promotion squad.

Van der Laan was sold to Derby County for £750,000 plus Lee Mills (who Rudge then developed into a £1m sale) in 1995.

After retiring as a player he set up a football academy and a coaching career.

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