Former Schalke goalkeeper Unnerstall dreaming of Premier League chance
VVV-Venlo goalkeeper Lars Unnerstall is hoping he one day gets the chance to ply his trade in the Premier League.
The 27-year-old goalkeeper came up through the ranks at Schalke, starting 33 games for the club between the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons.
However, he bounced around the last few years, spending a season in Switzerland with Aarau and multiple seasons with 2.Bundesliga side Fortuna Dusseldorf, only to start 10 games in the German second division for the club.
"I did not play at Dsseldorf so my plan was to go to a club where I could play all the time and play my way into the focus of other clubs," Unnerstall told Goal.
That materialised into a move to newly-promoted Eredivisie side VVV, which has rejuvenated his career as Unnerstall has staked a claim to being one of the best goalkeepers in the division this season.
And with his contract running down, the goalkeeper is hoping to keep VVV, who sit eight points above the relegation playoff, away from danger. Beyond that, he admits he would consider a move away from the club.
"I don't know what will happen in summer, Unnerstall said. My first goal is to stay in the league with Venlo. After this we will speak about next season.
For sure I will speak with Venlo because I feel comfortable here. But I have to admit that it was my plan to play every game to be in the focus and make another step after this."
As to what that next step is, Unnerstall certainly has entertained the possibility of remaining in the Eredivisie, if not with Venlo then with another team. However, he has eyes for England where the Premier League would be the dream. The goalkeeper would even love a chance at the Championship.
"With my transfer to the Netherlands I may have done a step back in my career, he added. I did it this because I wanted to play as much as possible. I wanted to prove myself.
Nevertheless, I can imagine to stay in the Netherlands. If not in Venlo maybe somewhere else.
"It would be a dream to play in the Premier League. Even the Championship is very attractive for me because I like the way they play. It's full of great clubs with a long history."
While his time in Germany did not end the way he would have liked, Unnerstall did get the opportunity to be a team-mate to a legend of the game while there former Real Madrid great Raul, who played with Schalke between 2010-2012.
Unnerstall spoke glowingly about the striker, emphasising how approachable he was and the great stories he used to tell.
"It was unbelievable to play with Raul, Unnerstall said. When he spoke about all the big games he played I loved to listen to his stories.
It was a thrilling time with him and everybody respected him a lot. But no one need to be afraid. He is very nice and friendly to everybody. He is a great person."