The future of Thomas Vermaelen has been in doubt since the summer transfer window opened because of his difficult time last season, where he featured just 14 times in the league partly due to the partnership of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny and other time due to injuries.
During that time he has been linked with a move to Manchester United and Barcelona this summer, but until now no particular development has indicated that the captain could be on his way out of the club. However that could about to change as the Belgian squad number has been assign to newly signed Calum Chambers. Although, the number assigned to the former Southampton defender is (21), it is not clear why he was wearing Thomas Vermaelen’s number in training today.
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Although, it is not unusual for a player to wear the number of another of his team mate’s especially in training as Oxlade Chamberlain did last week with Jack Wilshere’s number, it however, gives room for all manner of speculations regarding the future of the captain.
Belgium were eliminated from the quarter finals of the World Cup, the same stage as France, yet Laurent Koscielny, Oliver Giroud and new signing Mathieu Debuchy have all returned from the World Cup to pre season training, but the captain is still absent.
The future of the Thomas Vermaelen will have to be resolved soon, as Per Mertesacker is not expected to play in Arsenal’s first match of the season in the Community Shield against Manchester City on August, 11th because of the extended break granted to the German contingent at Arsenal which includes Per Mertesacker a development that throws up the question of who would pair with Laurent Koscielny in that match into shape focus.
With just one year left on his contract, he has previously in an interview expressed doubt as to where his future lies when the World Cup ends when he claimed:
“I really do not know where i will play, Arsenal or elsewhere next season. All my attention went to the World Cup. I will see when i talk to Arsenal.”
With his number exchanging hands in training, it could be the clearest indication yet that another of Arsenal’s captain will join the exodus of those that have left in the past, a list that includes Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas and Robin Van Persie.
With Arsene Wenger having failed to give assurances about the captain’s future after the Boreham friendly, it only means he could be joining that list above.