Our central defender, who is the captain of the Romanian national side, was picked out by readers of our online Match Centre as the man of the match as we won 2-0 at Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon.
It was the 23-year-old’s first domestic start for us since his summer move from Steaua Bucharest, having co-incidentally made his first team debut at the same venue last month in our Capital One Cup victory against Paul Lambert’s side. He also played in our European victory over Anji Makhachkala at the start of October.
And as the lads get set to resume Europa League duties, Vlad has spoken of his pride at making his first top flight appearance for us – insisting that he remains focussed on helping us win Group K as we look to make progress on the continent.
“I’m glad about the Aston Villa game and I am proud to have started in the Premier League for the first time,” he said.
“I think it will be a good game for us on Thursday, and I think we can win the match and (go on to) finish first in the group.
“I have played against Sheriff before, although it was just in a friendly. They are a decent team so we will have to be strong.”