Hamburg striker Pierre-Michel Lasogga has stated that the Bundesliga club could suffer grave consequences if they were to sell captain Rafael van der Vaart this summer, according to Bild.
The Dutch international, who joined Hamburg from Tottenham on transfer deadline day in August 2012m is being linked with a move away from the club, with his owners keen to sell.
This comes after a season to forget for the 31-year-old, whose sluggish performances, coupled with a perceived lack of effort, nearly cost Hamburg its place for the 2014-15 Bundesliga campaign.
The Imtech Arena outfit finished the previous season third from bottom and had to beat second division side Greuther Fϋrth over two legs to avoid the club’s first relegation in 51 years.
Van der Vaart's woes
So woeful were Van der Vaart’s performances for Hamburg last season that some fans have even created a petition urging the club’s hierarchy to sell in order to avoid another season of despair.
Chief investor Klaus-Michael Kϋhne has also stated that he would do everything in his power to influence the club to depart with their former saviour, having originally financed the midfielder’s £10million move from Tottenham in 2012.
Premier League move?
However, interest for the 31-year-old has been far and few between with Premier League side Queens Park Rangers the only team to have made a formal approach for his services this summer.
One person standing alone in a blue and white sea of Van der Vaart negativism is Lasogga, who feels that Hamburg should do everything in their power to keep hold of their former poster boy.
In an interview with Bild Zeitung he said: “Hamburg are never allowed to sell Rafa. Rafa is extremely important for us, not only as a player but also as an individual. He oozes with class. Hamburg should never make the decision to sell him.”
Lasogga, who signed a five year deal at the club to make his loan move from Bundesliga rivals, Hertha Berlin permanent this summer has also reiterated that the Holland international brings the best out in his weekly performances.
The 22-year-old scored 13 lifesaving goals for Hamburg last season; inevitably the difference between automatic relegation and a gamble with the play-off’s which indeed paid off, with Van der Vaart supplying five of these golden attempts.
He said: “From the first day we have been able to play beautifully between ourselves. Words can’t describe how we harmonise with each other. He understands me perfectly.”
Sales for the new season
Hamburg are preparing for a new Bundesliga season which they hope will be ten times better than than previous and have already shifted on ten players, including star midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu to Bayer Leverkusen, who was costing the club thousands of euros in wages.
Van der Vaart is the last big earner at the Imtech Arena and it is believed that he pockets 3.5 million euros a year at the expense of a club who are desperate to reduce their payroll.
However, Lasogga, obviously unknown to the club’s financial situation feels that Hamburg were wrong to sell off their crown jewels and feels that they should keep hold of Van der Vaart if they have any chance of improving this season.
He said: “We have already lost good players. We must keep hold of Rafa. That’s if we want to be and play better this season.”