Vermaelen unsure of Arsenal future

Vermaelen unsure of Arsenal future

Thomas Vermaelen admits he’s not sure where his future lies now that he’s turned his attention to domestic matters after a summer on international duty with Belgium.

The Arsenal club captain has been repeatedly linked with a move away from the club having fallen down the centre-back pecking order at the Emirates with the likes of Manchester United and Napoli mooted as possible destinations.

“I really do not know where I will play, Arsenal or elsewhere next season,” he’s quoted as saying by the Evening Standard after his country’s World Cup exit at the hands of Argentina.

“All my attention went to the World Cup. I will see when I talk with Arsenal.”

Much of the link with United appears to stem from an apparent working relationship with Louis van Gaal…odd seeing as Vermaelen’s career in the Eredivisie doesn’t really correspond with the Dutch tactician’s time in Amsterdam.

Van Gaal left his coaching position at Ajax in 1997 and returned only briefly as a technical director in 2004 before quitting later that year after a dispute with Ronald Koeman. While Vermaelen was on the books at the Amsterdam Arena between 2003-2009 he was actually out on loan at RKC Waalwijk between 2004-05 when Van Gaal was around.

Strange how the internet sees misinformation spread like wild fire.

Vermaelen lifted the FA Cup trophy at Wembley in May but only made 13 starts last season as back-up to Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny. His playing time frustrations were compounded in Brazil when he was carried off after only 30 minutes against Russia in what proved to be his only appearance at the World Cup.

Injuries certainly haven’t done him any favours but he’s also suffered from playing out of position which in turn has knocked his confidence. A few years ago had you said Vermaelen was likely to depart it would have been met with consternation by much of the fanbase, this summer you can’t help but feel that it might be best for both parties that he find pastures new. Although preferably not to Old Trafford…

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48 COMMENTS

  1. I hope we dont let another captain leave. He is a descent back up and I think we only should let him go if we manage to get a proper replacement.

    Sorry for possible english mistakes Im not from UK

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        • Not bad … you managed to cleverly and subtly insert five mistakes into a twelve word sentence, simply to illustrate your point in as understated a way as possible. Not only that, but your sentence remained eminently readable and understandable. Congratulations, sir!

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    • 100% agreed. Similar to how Germany left Per Mertesacker on the bench against France in the WC, we need the pairing of Verminator and Kos against teams like Liverpool and Man City.

      No reason to sell him. Find a way to use Verminator.

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      • The issue I see with it is that he only has 1 year left to run on his contract. He’s not content to be 3rd choice while he’s club captain (nor should he be), and therefore the chances of him re-signing are slim to none at this point. If decent money comes in we should take it and buy a young up and coming central defender who is hungry to learn and make an impact. Otherwise we will very likely lose Vermaelen on a free like we did with Sagna recently, so we will lose out if we keep him. So with that in mind, and considering he’s not a crucial member of the starting 11, I can definitely Arsene selling him for this window.

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      • As sad as I would be to see him go, if he is hell bent on getting first team football we might be better off letting him go than keeping him. I’d like Fabian Schar from Basel who is quite young. We may be able to get him for 10m (which we could recoup through TV5 sale). Alternatively I’d love to get him anyway and loan him to a Prem side for when TV5 goes on a free next summer. We also have Isaac Hayden comming through who when I’ve seen on a few occasions looks like he could potentially make it for us. Tall and strong and can play CB or DM. Would like to see him get a chance in the cups or a loan to a fairly high level.

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    • Yeah I agree. We only have three centre-halves as it is and at present it doesn’t seem like the boss is focusing his attention there in the transfer window (maybe he will later, who knows?). Vermaelen leaving would weaken our depth. Sure he’s not quite the player he was when he first joined but as far as first choice back-up goes can we really do better? Aside from the game at Goodison Park, he played well when called upon last season.

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    • I agree as well. I’ve got the feeling he will do quite well and live up to his potential wherever he goes from here. Similar to Gervinho, who I felt the same way about when he left.

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  2. Wouldn’t it possible that Wenger figure out a rotation plan for our excellent CBs which pleases everyone? Considering total 60 games (optimistic), 40 starts in a season for each shall be not bad for anyone. Besides it is important to have solid CB backup for each game. V5 stay! #COYG.

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    • Given Germany’s good progress in the World Cup I think that if Vermaelen stays there’s a very good chance he would play in the early games like the Champions League qualifiers and Community Shield. Per’s likely to have a few weeks off and probably won’t be 100% by the time we start playing competitively again. It could be a good opportunity for him to re-establish himself.

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    • Exactly. Most players lose form when they’re not playing regularly. Left to rot on the bench for months on end, then brought in when injuries force it, usually in a difficult and key tie like City or Bayern, it’s hardly surprising they’re not at their best. How can anyone not become demoralised when they realise they’ll only ever be used when the first choice isn’t available? How can anyone retain match-sharpness when they’re not playing matches? We saw the same thing with Monreal, who was excellent till it became clear to him that Wenger would always prefer Gibbs.

      Young players don’t get disheartened by not being the first choice; they take it for granted they’re lower in the pecking order. But established ones, former first choices, understandly do; it’s a blow to their confidence and their performance invariably goes downhill.

      I’m not suggesting we should break up the Merte-Kos partnership, but ideally we need two pairs of centre backs who we rotate in a sensible way. Otherwise it’ll be the familiar situation of injuries and exhaustion and finding ourselves in February with only Hayden available when he hasn’t a single minute of Premiership experience to his name.

      Oh, and if Vermaelen leaves, for God’s sake don’t make Mertesacker captain, unless we want him to leave too, for Barca, or City, or United … or wherever the new places becomes that our captains get sold to. Make Bendtner captain, in perpetuity.

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  3. TV5 is absolutely a keeper – we have to persuade him to stay as there’s simply nobody out there of anything approaching his quality either available or for less than £15-£20m, which would be silly. Selling him to United – thus vastly improving their defence – would be the kind of idiocy only defendable if we had no financial choice, which is no longer the case. So either he forces a move or we keep him and if he goes, it’s to a continental club and not the Glazerhawks.

    Whatever happens it’s hard to fault his professionalism and commitment when many others in his situation would have been getting their agents to plant all sorts of bollocks in the European press. Good lad.

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      • that would be a problem if we were skint and therefore had to face the choice of losing the potential transfer fee, as with the dutch skunk. as we are no longer skint we can ignore that potential loss and act in the best interests of the club, or at least that’s what I’d hope to see

        so TV5 might be told he’s going nowhere and will continue to pen some fairly ponderous programme notes and play when needed. I don’t have any problem with that whatsoever, even if it means he goes on a free next year. Sends the right message to the rest of the squad about who is in control, too.

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        • Given that we could potentially get £10M for a player whose star has faded somewhat over the last 2 years I think it would be madness to let him run his contract down and leave on a Bosman next year.
          As you rightly pointed out we’re not skint anymore so we can add some money to that £10M and get a suitable replacement that can push Koz & Mert and not wait until next year.
          He is unlikely to be the last player looking for a move away from the Emirates this summer as I can see Podolski and or Cazorla looking for a move too which is why some commentators on these boards are anxious to see players arriving for the vacancies we already have.
          We have to get a goalkeeper and a right back (seems to be sorted) just to stand still and we are in serious need of reinforcements in the striking department as Sonogo just isn’t ready yet.
          Add a DM that we all crave and that’s four players minimum without TV5 or anybody else leaving. I hope the Boss comes back refreshed from his ‘holiday’ in Brazil because he’s going to be a busy boy when he gets back

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  4. He’s served the club well but it’s not surprising that at his age he’s looking to be a first choice centre-back and he does deserve it (although not at any PL opponents, especially Man U). However the lack of, let’s be honest, any replacements means it’s going to be very hard for him to move without at least two reasonably young centre-backs joining our ranks in the coming weeks. Unless there’s a very generous offer on the table I’d be very surprised to see Wenger let him leave and as things stand I think it’s quite likely we’ll be watching him sit out the remainder of his contract at Arsenal.

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  5. Flog him. He’s a broken man, crushed by the weight of the captaincy since 2 years ago.
    15-20M is a fair to amazing price for him, Plenty of time left of the window to find a proper replacement.

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    • 15-20M would indeed be a fair to amazing price for him…

      Of course no one is going to offer anywhere near that amount but still.

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  6. I’d like him to stay and be given more playing time to establish his confidence. He’s a damn fine player!

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  7. I dont know why we cant keep
    our best players. He might be
    3rd choice but a handy back up
    in crisis situations. We need depth in our squad which cost
    us league last season. Please
    keep him for one more year
    and find a replacement. Cant
    see miquel doing a great job at
    the highest level. Find a replacement 1st

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  8. It’s sad how he became a backup player from our best defender two seasons ago. That goal of his against Everton where he just kept on running, finally striking a thunderous shot from outside the box. That’s the vermaelen I remember. Would be great to see him rise again next season, as mertasacker will certainly need a longer break given world cup stretch

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  9. Big Tommy V is Captain of this club. To just say oh by the way because your not playing every game we have decided that we will make someone else captain is a fucking Chelsea idea. The man has been the epitome of grace, and sportsmanship since he was dropped. A true leader! If he goes I wish him all the luck in the world. If he stays, he’s club Captain. End of!!!

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  10. I understand his frustration and his desire to go.
    But can’t he wait just one more year?
    who would want to miss seeing Jenkinson scoring the winning goal at champions league final?

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  11. TV is a really good defender but it strikes me that since Laurent and Per joined the club he hasnt had a made a good partnership with either of them.

    I agree with the author that its best for both parties if he leaves for a foreign club as we will get money (around 10m perhaps?) to invest in a new recruit. If we keep him now he will probably leave for free in summer 2015.

    Wouldnt want to see him leave for another PL club so Im hoping Napoli has got some spare change since the Cavani deal :)

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  12. Just not United… for a change the “please don’t leave” sentiment isn’t because of desperation, but fucking pride. Although having said that, the thought of another CBm(especially one of Tommy’s quality) leaving does leave a funny feeling in my tummy. Like that ominous swirl of stuff when you realise a few of those McNuggets you just wolfed down were a weird Pinkish colour.

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  13. The prudent thing here will be to hold on to him and let him walk for free next summer. Meanwhile, get a young CD who may not play much this season but should be ready to challenge the mertsesacker-koscielny axis in a year or two. That way, we have a replacement who doesn’t have to coming and play right away. And Vermaleen can make more money moving on a free transfer. Win for everybody

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  14. Yes, and by the end of next year he probably wouldn’t want to go to manure as they’d again finish outside top 4. van Gaal ain’t no wenga

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  15. We need Vermaelen as he’s a very decent backup option, the likes of which cannot be bought on the market right now. But, knowing Wenger and the situation, it is inevitable that he wants to leave. I sincerely hope the club take a stance of “If you want to go to Man Utd, you gotta go once your contract is over. If you want to go now, go out of the country.”

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  16. Highly unlikely TV5 will want to play a bit part role again next season and deserves 1st team football. Obviously like everybody else here i’d rather that be abroad rather than strengthening a rival. What ever happens if he stays he needs to be accepting of the fact that he is 3rd choice, or we bring in someone else as cover, and we need to be realistic in terms of the caliber of player we can bring in as 3rd choice, who will be happy with that.

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  17. Well aren’t we all sad to see how Vermaelen has lost his form? We can all see he needs to be playing regularly, and let’s be honest, it doesn’t seem likely with us. He could get some more playing time this season, but probably not enough to satisfy a defender of his quality. Like Fabianski and Mannone, he’s at an age when he really needs to be playing regularly, he turns 29 in November.

    You can guess where I’m going. Of course it’s great having a third choice CB as good as Vermaelen, but I think we should give Vermaelen the respect he deserves, and let him go to a club where he can start regularly. Like others have said, the £10m to £12m or whatever we get should go a long way to getting another CB.

    On a slightly different topic, Jenkinson can actually be our 4th choice CB. Well, it’s an option at least. So we may only need one CB if Vermaelen leaves.

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    • I think most players would rather get game time than sit on the bench, even if it’s for a smaller less competitive club.

      Unless your Wayne Bridge of course.

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  18. My concern about letting him leave this summer is because of the volume of changes to the squad at the same time. There is a potential that the squad sees 6-7 changes and that’s way too much IMO. Changes at these positions are almost a giving: Goalie, Right Back, DM, Winger (counting Sanchez as a winger), and Striker. Why create instability in CD by letting him go if you don’t need to?

    I understand the sentiment that he deserves to play but at the end of the day, what good for arsenal overrides what’s good for Vermaelen.

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    • Firstly, I think that’s a very selfish attitude. Arsenal will carry on just fine, but Vermaelen isn’t getting any younger. He’s been a great leader, who always carries himself with dignity, and has always been respectful to the club, even though he’s probably unhappy with his position. He could have left a while ago when he was in form and Arsenal were in a worse state, like some others we could name, but he didn’t.

      I don’t think there will necessarily be that many changes. If we get Sanchez, that covers the wings and CF. A DM would be great, but I think we can cope one more season with only Arteta and Flamini. At RB there’s not argument, we very likely will be getting a new one. If Vermaelen goes, we need another CB. And of course we need a goalie. That’s four new players, but only one or two of those will be first choice, the RB, and maybe Sanchez, but he’ll probably be rotated on the wings and up top in his first season. The others will be back-ups and squad players. The new goaly probably won’t be needed that much, unless Szczesny gets injured. So I don’t think it will be as drastic as you say it will be. Just my two cents.

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  19. I like him sooooo damn much. We need a better rotation policy, that’s it. I am sure he can fit the system and provide us different options in the back. A strategic option. It’s not like Alexis will kill Giroud’s career. Oh my God..!!! Don’t tell me Giroud will leave next year and we will again have a shortage of strikers. Damn!

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  20. I like TV5 – I’ll say that straight off. I didn’t fancy the BFG at all when he first was signed – I’ll say that straight off too. In theory our best CB partnership should be Kos-le-boss and TV5. It should have pace, power and aerial ability.

    But, in theory it hasn’t worked and the reason is that TV5’s positional sense is poor. I remember reading an article about TV5 when he joined us, and though in general it praised him it did mark his weakness as positional sense. Somehow, through injury lay-offs, lack of confident etc, he has never sorted that side out.

    I don’t believe in rotating CB’s. They don’t fatigue like other players and they improve with gametime. Maybe, if Per got injured and the Kos/TV5 partnership got an extended run then it might improve. But TV5 is not exactly a spritely young thing anymore.

    Do I want him to leave? No. We need 3 good centre halves at least for a full campaign. But could I understand if he wanted to leave? Yes, especially if it was to a big club. Could I understand AFC taking the money? Yes, I could. We’re well off but not so well off that we cannot at least consider losing a player of his undoubted calibre (even it isn’t top top class) to go on a free. But I would imagine any such decision would now be thought of in terms of ‘well we can attract a centre half of similar quality, if not better’.

    We DO need to look to improve. I love BFG but there can be no doubt that no matter how good the Kos/Per partnership is statistically, the reality is that it is still a weakness in big games against a top/quick striker that we have to protect Per’s lack of pace.

    The ‘don’t let him go to Man U’ thing is natural but this aint RVP to Man U making them stronger instantly – this is them saying ‘we need a centre half you haven’t been using’ to replace Vidic!?’ If that is so – Utd have problems. We already know Evans is suspect and Smalling + Jones have been shifted in position so much neither know the CB role at all…and therefore is them signing a player whose main deficiency is positional sense, really us giving them a leg back up?

    And for those who say, it doesn’t seem like Wenger is looking for a replacement…erm. How would any of us know? As ever, the rumour mill grinds on, but our manager keeps schtum. As it should be.

    My two cents worth would also be that I think Jenks could be played more as a CB, as I don’t think he will ever be a truly great FB but his pace and power could be used in the centre.

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  21. In the case of the Verminator we have to be careful, if we let him go that lack of depth will lose is key. If we sit him on the bench for the year and tell him play well in the 15-20 appearances you might have that will invariably lead to some “so-so rip him to pieces cause his heart ain’t with the Gunner’s” type performances. Form is difficult for CB’s because you can’t tell them go have a run around and make something happen like a Super Rosicky or Diaby off the bench, it’s be focused concentrate be smart don’t concede communicate so we don’t lose! I’m hoping we could try and find an under 20 million under 25 young up and coming centreback who isn’t Premiership tested but could slide in like a Kos did. Wenger know’s best and I’m confident we will spend next year wowing Europe and the world with our goal scoring prowess with Ozil and Co demolishing the handbrake and showing everyone we can outscore teams!

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  22. If we love Vermaleen, we have to respect his choice. He is seating on the bench and wants game time, nothing wrong with that.

    So if he wants to go, good luck, unless it is to United in which case I will do a Henry and just keep mum.

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  23. Well, considering his age, there is no real need to move to another club to feature for the Belgian first team IMO.

    OTOH the question for us will be whether TV can step up and be good enough again to rotate through Meterscielny. One good thing in his favour is familiarity.

    If he stays, it will make things easier and allow us maybe to bring in a younger Cback with good long term potential at lower cost.

    Looks like Sanchez deal could go through which is in the end good news.

    I’m not convinced he is the answer to our striker requirement but if he is to come in out wide, it would add nuance to our approach play and likely replace one of Rosicky or Podolski in half a season down.

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