Throughout the summer (and indeed the last couple of years) there has been talk about Thomas Vermaelen leaving Arsenal. For the last two and a half seasons, he’s been second fiddle (or third fiddle, depending how you look at it) to Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker, who have been generally outstanding for us at the back.
Whether that’s down to their off the field relationship, careful planning by Arsene Wenger or luck, the fact is the club captain doesn’t look like regaining a first choice selection.
Which in a way is a shame because he doesn’t seem like a tosser like other players who have left have been. He has apparently (according to Arsene) been the consummate professional off the pitch but clearly not playing a bigger role is painful for him.
And when Arsene talks about players possibly leaving, you know it’s just a matter of time before they do go.
Speaking objectively though, it’s clear he does have frailties to his game which led to his place on the bench; he gets caught out of position a lot and seems to be too concerned about “stealing” the ball from opposing players but doesn’t have the pace to do so – and is something The Boss is much better at doing,
Added to the fact that we always sell our captains (does Arsene plan this?) means he’ll probably be off.
And Manchester United is his likely destination.
He’ll be reunited with his friend Robin van Persie and be part of Manchester United’s new revival under Louis van Gaal.
But will he actually improve United?
He didn’t play much of a part in Belgium’s World Cup, and has been short of first team football for a long time. Arsene doesn’t seem to have faith in him any more and seems to be willing to cash in (metaphorically, as he’s probably only going to command a fee of around £5 million).
United will be happy as they would have “prised another captain from Arsenal” and play it as a major coup over one of their major rivals.
If Vermaelen does join United, it will be strange to see him at Old Trafford but that’s just the way of the world these days – our players seem to leave for United, City or Chelsea.
In the end, if he goes to Manchester then I think most fans won’t be too bothered – he’s a squad player at Arsenal, would provide money which could be spent on other signings abc probably wouldn’t improve United in the manner people would believe.
But what do you think?