Rafael van der Vaart is not enjoying his football at Hamburg, according to former Netherlands captain Johan Cruyff.
The Bundesliga club are currently battling to avoid relegation from Germany’s top flight for the first time in their history.
With only six games left to play, five of them against clubs from the top half of the table, Hamburg sit 17th and are two points adrift of safety.
The German media have questioned the role of club captain Van der Vaart, 31, who has struggled for form throughout the season. The midfielder has not scored a goal in his nine appearances since the winter break, while he has only provided one assist.
And talking to Hamburger Morgenpost, Cruyff suggested that the former Tottenham player, who returned to Hamburg in the summer of 2012, would be better off elsewhere.
“HSV is a problem for Rafael van der Vaart,” Cruyff said.
“It’s just not good that he plays in a weak team. Van der Vaart needs to do a lot of running in Hamburg and that’s not one of his strengths.
“Van der Vaart is a very good footballer, his strength is to play football.”
Van der Vaart’s poor form has also put his place in Netherlands’ World Cup squad in jeopardy.
However, Cruyff urged coach Louis van Gaal to make sure he takes the midfielder with him to Brazil.
“Netherlands needs Van der Vaart. He has individual qualities we can’t do without,” he said, before adding: “He needs to be fit.”