It has been reported that Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen has agreed personal terms with Manchester United and all that needs to be ironed out is a transfer fee with Arsenal. A player agreeing terms with other clubs to me is easy but I would say is easier said than actually done. The Belgian defender is still under contract at the Emirates though it is fast winding down and he could be a free agent next summer if terms over a new deal isn’t agreed but for now Arsenal hold the ace and can decide whether to cash in on him this summer or hold him to fulfill the remainder of his contract.
I understand Vermaelen could be open to a move owing to his difficult situation at Arsenal. It is never an easy sight for a player who was once a super-regular in the team to suddenly fall down the pecking order to been a regular face on the bench. This situation is even made more difficult when the said player is the captain of the club. Captains are meant to be automatic starters but when that doesn’t happen, it means the captain is quite poor and have better players ahead of him.
Leaving could be a win/win situation for both him and the club. It could be the perfect opportunity for Arsenal to bring in a younger replacement who will be comfortable sitting on the bench pending the opportunity to prove himself in the team. While I would welcome a move away provided Wenger would be replacing him with a decent defender with better prospects in the long term, I will however frown at a possible switch to Manchester United and have my reasons for this position.
Arsenal should stop strengthening our direct rivals because that is what we will be doing if Vermaelen is sold to Manchester United. The Red Devils will never sell us one of their good players like Rooney except a misfit and worn-out Silvestre. If Vermaelen must go, he should go outside the Premier League. Selling Vermaelen to Manchester United will avail him the opportunity to hit back at Arsenal at every given opportunity. Everyone can see what Ashley Cole, Emmanuel Adebayor, Van Persie and Nasri have done to us in the past. we cannot allow a déjà vu. If he is sold to a club outside the EPL, the only way he can hit out at us is if we meet in an European competition and that might not even happen. In Fabregas’ 3 years at Barcelona, Arsenal never played them. Once he moves to another league, there is no guarantee that his new team will get to play against the Gunners. Then club need to for once consider the fans. I am sure many Arsenal fans will rather sell him sold to another league than to a club playing in the premier league.
Not selling good players to rivals is a sign of pride and a clear signal that a team isn’t ready to cede power to their rivals or even help rivals win titles. If Manchester United refused selling Heinze to Liverpool even when they declared him a spent force and insisted on not selling Rooney to Chelsea, Chelsea didn’t sell their worst striker Ba to Arsenal last summer, then why should Arsenal sell Vermaelen to Manchester United? He might be 3rd choice at Arsenal but on his day, he is still a very good centre back. If we must sell any player to Manchester United, it should be our most out of sort player and I don’t think we have anyone that fit that definition right now, not even Monreal will I consider selling to them. I will only sell to them a player that would weaken and not strengthen them.
Finally, I would like to consider all options. Wenger might be reluctant selling Vermaelen to Manchester United but the betrayal in Vermaelen might hold out for that move. If Arsenal must lose a decent player to Manchester United, the Red Devils must also lose theirs to. How about an offer of a straight swap? Manchester United get Vermaelen while Arsenal demand for Rooney, Mata or Chicarito. If they can’t part ways with any of them, Arsenal shouln’t sell Vermaelen to them.
Arsenal have had enough of traitors in recent times, hope Vermaelen is not planning to join the long list of those that went from been heroes to non gratas at the Emirates. I understand he desires to play regularly but it is not only at Old Trafford that he can get playing time. He would also get it at Naples and if my memory serves me well, Benitez wants him.