Arsenal’s central defender Thomas Vermaelen was pulled off the pitch with a cramp at his calf in the Carling Cup game against Bolton Wanderers, but Wenger hopes that he will be able to use the defender on Saturday against Chelsea. This was the first match for Vermaelen after coming back from injury so getting injured again would be a disaster for the Belgian.
“He did very well but came off with a calf and we’re hoping it’s not too bad. But he will be short for Saturday.
“I didn’t expect a game of this intensity and it was tough game for a centre-back. I didn’t want him to come off, because there were four minutes to go and we could have conceded but he was adamant he had to come off.”
Vermaelen didn’t seem to think there was anything wrong with him and after the match he spoke at the interview like everything was okay with him. The defender stated:
“It was great to be back and to get time on the pitch. I felt fresh, I’m OK and am available for Saturday.”
If he will indeed be available for Saturday’s Chelsea game Vermaelen has a big chance to replace Koscielny in the first eleven of the team. The fight for the central defenders position will be a very tough one once the Belgian will be completely recovered. At a first glance Mertesacker and Vermaelen seem to be the favourites for the position, but Koscielny is also a very good defender. The ones who will be most affected by this are Djourou and Miquel. Djourou will still be an option for the right-back position as long as Sagna is injured, and Miquel will probably keep playing for the reserve team.