The Curious Case Of Thomas Vermaelen – Why Arsenal Should Retain Him

A lot has been said about the future of Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen. For the past year there have been reports about Vermaelen leaving Arsenal. Rivals Manchester United has been claimed as his preferred destination. However recently he came out to the press stating that those rumours were not true and as he has one year let he was ready to give it all for Arsenal.

“I know there has been a lot of talk and a lot of rumours but the only thing I can say is that it’s not true.

Everybody understands my situation at Arsenal and that I have one year left.

I understand that people are going to talk but I am here in Brazil and I am enjoying my time and I’m focused on what I am doing.

We [Vermaelen and Wenger] talk a lot when I am at Arsenal but it’s not what I am going to discuss here, it is something you are going to have to ask him.”

The 28-year-old Belgium has been out of favour at Arsenal as Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker have taken full advantage of the Belgian’s injury problems to make the centre back position their own. The two have been very important for Arsenal. Apart from the capitulation at Chelsea and Liverpool, is has to be said they were the second best centre back paring in the premier league falling behind only to Chelsea’s John Terry and Gary Cahill.

Vermaelen joined Arsenal from Ajax for €12m in the summer of 2009. He was an instant hit. He scored on his debut as he notched up 8 goals in his first season with the Gunners. The following season wasn’t a good one for Vermaelen as he had an Achilles problem due to which he missed almost the entire 2010-2011 season. The following season he was made Arsenal’s vice-captain and was back to goal scoring form as he scored 6 goals. He also formed a very good partnership with Frenchmen Laurent Koscielny. He was named club captain soon after Van Persie left in August 2012. He had a very poor season. He missed the vital penalty vs. Bradford in the League Cup. And his string of poor performance which included a 3-1 first leg loss Bayern Munich forced Arsene Wenger to drop him. Since then he has never been the same and the new paring of Koscielny and Mertesacker never looked back.

With reports of a £10m bid from Manchester United, Arsenal would want to keep their captain as he has quality; it’s just a matter of confidence. He has been at Arsenal for 5 years and in that time he had become a fan favourite as he got the nickname ‘The Verminator’. It would be better for both parties as Arsenal are building up and would like to have Vermaelen as their backup centre back because they are short in that department. And you rather have an experienced player like Vermaelen than the young Spaniard Ignasi Miquel. But if he does depart then Arsene Wenger has to quickly find a good defensive cover.