The Metro as well as many other mainstream media are reporting that Arsenal Captain Thomas Vermaelen is set for a move to Spanish giants Barcelona in a move worth 10 million pounds. Thomas has been a bit part player for Arsenal as Per Metersacker and Laurent Koscienly have formed a formidable partnership in defence that has been lacking in an Arsenal side for a long time.
Earlier rumours indicated that Thomas would be on his way to join Manchester United as a replacement for Nemanja Vidic and his ability to play left back would prove an added asset as United have lost Patrice Evra. However, the deals seems to have pulled off as Arsenal already received a lot of stick for selling Robin Van Persie to a direct rival and wouldn’t want to do anything that would hurt the new found love the club has reestablished with its fans.
Barcelona have always had defensive frailties that have been largely exposed and the inability of Tata Martino to find an answer to that problem contributed to his sack. With Puyol out of the way, Barca need someone to partner Pique in the center of defence and as always they look to Arsenal to help solve all their problems.
This is a deal however that most Arsenal fans would not have a problem with as it doesn’t strengthen a rival and also the club can replace him with another defender and not seriously affect the flow of the first team. What is important however is for the club to decide quickly on this deal as media reports indicate the player has already agreed terms.
With less than 15 days before the start of the season and under 30days before the end of the transfer window the club needs to act fast as the longer it keeps the deal the harder it takes to get a quality replacement as clubs will be unwilling to release players so close to the end of the winder when it is not certain they will find replacements themselves.
Calum Chambers has deputized in the central midfield position in the absence of Per Metersacker and has shown enough signs that he has a future in that position, however he is young and still learning his trade as was evident in the way he allowed Falcao go free for the header that cost Arsenal the Emirates Cup. The club would need to make an experienced defender its third choice as any injury or suspension to either of its first choice defenders would see it relying on an untested 19 year old to do a job instantly.
Links to Hummels, Nastatic, Alvero Alberloa and Chris Smalling have emerged as possible replacements for Thomas. However, Arsene hasn’t made any official enquiries on this position with other clubs but has publicly stated that should the club captain leave he would definitely make a signing to replace him.