Wenger ‘can’t guarantee’ Vermaelen’s Arsenal future


Arsene Wenger has cast further doubt on Thomas Vermaelen’s Arsenal career by saying he ‘can’t guarantee’ the Belgian will be at the club next season.

Speaking to  Gunnerblog and other assorted media after the 2-0 friendly win over Boreham Wood today, the manager said, “I cannot guarantee he’ll stay, but should he go I will bring another centre-back in for sure.”

The captain has been linked with a move to Manchester United for almost the duration of the summer, and after falling behind Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny in the pecking order, it’s believed he expressed his desire to move clubs in order to play more regular first team football.

United reportedly see him as a central defensive option but also as a safety net at left back as they look to bed in £30m youngster Luke Shaw.

Wenger confirmed he’d be looking to bring in a goalkeeper and when pressed directly on Sami Khedira, said, “Look, I can’t give you any names.”

He was also asked about doing business early this summer, and admitted it’s not just down to one side to make that happen.

“Well, you are not the only one who decides that. Sometimes the players you want are available very late.

“You may refer to the Ozil case but at the same time last year was not available, he became available very late. You do the deals when they are possible.”

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99 Comments on "Wenger ‘can’t guarantee’ Vermaelen’s Arsenal future"

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Decent performance today. Not to bothered about losing TV5 but id prefer him to go overseas then to a direct rival, to good to sit on the bench but not good enough to break up our current partnership, and with or with out him we still need 4 centre backs in the team.


Been reading about how because we would only have 2 senior CBs that we would want a Manu CB in exchange if we sold him to them. But who would they give us that we would want out of Smalling and Evans… I recon they won’t give us Jones because he’s still young with potential.

2014-2015 = the year we've been waiting for
2014-2015 = the year we've been waiting for

I wouldn’t want Smalling or Evans or Jones or Nani or Cleverley or Carrick or Rafael or Evra or, even Shrek for that matter.

damien joyce

I’d take Shrek in a straight swap for TV5


Evans is the best CB they have at the minute, Jones or Smalling may end up better at some point but picking from one of those is like picking what you want to see in your shit tomorrow, blood, teeth or a used condom… Neither, thank you very much.


Now there’s a turn of phrase that belongs in the Readers’ Digest in their “Towards More Picturesque Speech” column.

Flamini's Phlegm

I’m more for us putting our foot down like how Liverpool did with Suarez last season. Especially if only a direct rival is interested. Let him go for nothing at the end of the contract. I can’t bear the thought of us selling another captain to those cunts!


I would agree that if he is to go to a direct rival, we should keep him. But overseas sale is ok for the right price as it can be used to invest in his direct replacement which is inevitable in the next 12 months. However, I don’t think the reference to Liverpool is quite relative as they didn’t exactly put their foot down and lose Suarez for nothing this year. They put their foot down (ignoring what sounds to be a poorly written contract clause), and ended up getting about 40M more for him the following year. If that were the case for Arsene, then there would be absolutely no chance in hell he would let TV5 go this year to anyone let alone a direct rival.


I can guarantee we will need him if we don’t find a replacement before Champions League qualifiers. Do we risk cup-tying him and reducing the potential fee?


But if he goes to Man U who don’t have any European football it won’t matter.


I would prefer to sell him this summer – not for the transfer fee, but to decide where he is going, push for a move to another country. No sense in strengthening United now that we are on stable financial ground. You know if we sold him to them, he’d have the season of his career and score a 30-yard scorcher at Old Trafford to keep us from winning the title in the penultimate league match.


Imagine thinking a club can decide where the player will go. You can’t force a player to sign for a club he doesn’t want to go to. If we want to sell Vermaelen and he wants to go to United there’s nothing we can do. Sanchez would be a Liverpool player now if a club could dictate to the player.


It’s been done before. There are other clubs that he’d likely accept if offered. He’s 29 in November, and you have to think that he’d rather move now than sit another year on the bench. No guarantee United or other attractive clubs will be interested in offering him a big deal next summer. Error prone, and not exactly a 30-goal-a-season striker like Skunk. I am expecting United to buy a new center back before the season starts – rumors now about an offer for Hummels. LVG would be settling if come September 1, he’s only got Evans, Smalling, and Jones.


Can we talk about how ManU don’t have any European football some more?

It just rolls right off the tongue doesn’t it?


Hm. Reading the UEFA regulation (18.07) for 2012-2015, looks like he wouldn’t be. Relaxed since 2011?


We really, really need a center back regardless. If Thomas leaves, I sure hope it’s for Napoli and not to play with the Dutch skunk


Wonga Out!


Cast your lure Arsene, there must be the right guy out there at CB

2014-2015 = the year we've been waiting for
2014-2015 = the year we've been waiting for

Kostas Manolas


He ticks all the boxes. Tall, aggressive yet intelligent, young yet experienced.

Think a swap of Joel Campbell (if he wants to stay at Olympiakos) for Kostas Manolas would be brilliant business.


Terence Kongolo from Feyenoord.
Feyenoord need the money. Kongolo is youthful, a full Netherlands international, and very similar in play style to both Vermaelen and Koscielny. He’d made a fantastic understudy.

Anonymous Physicist

A full Netherlands international who was apparently so highly regarded in the Dutch squad that when Martins Indi (one of the starters) got injured Van Gaal preferred to move Blind from left wing-back to the back three and make Kuyt play left wing-back rather than play Kongolo.

Gooner '75

The answer is simple buy a keeper,cental defender and dont sell tommy especially not to those cunts!

Arsene's dongle

I think even Arsene’s dongle doesn’t know what his next move would me in the window. Nice try by James(Gunnerblog) to get some info about transfers.


Scary times. Possibly the best back-up CB in the league. I can’t think of anyone who would slot straight into the first team and therefore coming to the club to probably spend long periods on the bench.

I just think losing TV5 will weaken the squad as a whole, but if we get 10 mill and he gets to play regular football maybe it will happen.

Although I’m quite sentimental about the current no. 1 partnership, I would love someone to come in and challenge them both.

Bould's Eyeliner

i think vermaelen is worth at least 18


The Curious Case of Arsenals Captains


I like Isaac Hayden though


I guess even the Gunnerblog couldn’t contain himself on Khedira there. The itch was overwhelming.


Strange for Wenger to openly show uncertainty with regards to the future of the club captain. Vermaelen was solid in his first 18 months but sadly became little more than a squad player last season, blame injuries if you like. If he plies his trade elsewhere next season, i will remember him for a certain last gasp winner against newcastle some years back.

Henry! Chance!! Goal!!!
Henry! Chance!! Goal!!!

I’ll hold Vermaelen to his contract. There is no way we can make so many changes and not suffer for it. Hold him to his contract and let him walk for free.


Can also play DM (better in that role)


Vermaelen is offski then. Shame, I like him, he reminds me of a raptor (in a good way) but being captain of the bench has to be humiliating


Hayden that is

Kiss my Arsenal

God that game was fucking boring!…..the media questions were more interesting!

Gooner '75

How many times did sagnajudascum play C.D??


Grow up.

Springbank 1965

Why don’t you ask him yourself and post the aftermath on YouTube?

Gooner '75



Sell him and buy someone faster than Per. We need someone for teams who win with pace (and overrated managers, Brendan Rodgers, fuck you, we all know Sanchez rejected Liverpool bc you and Suarez used to bite each other’s toenails you obnoxious cunt)


Boreham match report?

craszy gunner

Well I am not too worried about Vermalaen we have lost all our captains since Viera and I have firmly expected TV5 to leave since last season…so long as we replace him I am not worried..

My main worry is why our transfer buisiness continue to baffle…we are interested in a player he wants to come here he is affordable we have been courting him for almost 2yrs..

He is available his club want to sell…but he very well ends up with one of our competitors!..duh..

What I don’t understand is if QPR and Liverpool can pay 80K why can’t we?..why does he have to take a pay cut to come to arsenal?..we are not talking a Khedira type demand here I just don’t get it…afterall Podolksi is on almost 100k a week..


Anybody know why Gary didn’t play today

Gooner '75

Yeah great player with us but joined the mercenary mancs= judascum F.U.




Gnabry had a long-term injury towards the end of last season. I’d guess he’s still got it.


We have a huge amount of work still do if we do sell Thomas. A goalkeeper is a given I just hope that we really go for it this time and sign the players we need.
We are still very short in some areas


Not too bothered. We will bring in a good backup CB if we lose him.


I’m not bothered if TV5 goes, to be honest. He’s always getting injured and he doesn’t want to be here, so replace him with somebody who does. If he goes to his mate RVP at Manure we’ll have a good enough strike force to get past him anyway, and get good money for him that we can spend on someone better.

On holiday

In other news, no Arteta today. Is he being kept injury free for possible sale too?

Bould's Eyeliner

if you were listening, “Arteta picked up a slight knock, and is safely being preserved for next week’s trip to New York”

On holiday

Is that the same ‘slight knock’ Cesc had before being sold to Barcelona?


Arsenal should keep vermalaen, best backup cb in premier league..

Atletico Islington

Too good to be a backup cb some might say, Vermaelen included…


And they are right to say that too. We should keep him and rotate the three defenders we have. He played well enough when he got the chance last season, considering he was unlucky with so many injuries. I don’t see why everyone’s OK with him leaving, I think he played all the FA cup games except the finals, should have played in the finals too like fabianski, same logic


I’m certainly not happy to see him leave, but rotating the back 2 doesn’t work often. He’s is an extremely decent (possibly the best) back up in the league but do we keep him for the chance of playing when one of our top two get injured? Replace that back up with whom if he goes? Inevitably lose Vermaelen next season on a free next season…..

It’s a pickle


Rotating central defenders may not work, but when injuries and/or suspensions leave you with no one but an untried 17-year-old for a key game against Chelsea or Barca, I’d say that doesn’t work brilliantly either. And even with Vermaelen that was precisely the situation we were inearly in last season with only Hayden on the bench for several tough games.

Vermaelen may not be our first choice but paired with the fourth central defender I’m hoping we’ll buy he should be easily good enough to play fairly regularly. If he’s not up to facing (say) Burnley or Palace why would Van Gaal be wanting to buy him?

Sure, it would be nice if Merte/Kos could play twice a week from August to May without getting tired, injured or suspended. But they won’t, will they? And the less you rotate the more injuries you’re likely to get.


Usually I think, CB partnerships comes in pairs. All big clubs must have 4 CBs. A solid first 2, a third who if selected doesn’t result in drop in quality and 4th a young CB with good potential. It was a miracle we weren’t caught out with just 3 CBs the entire season. I think Per must’ve played all the games. That’s not healthy.


Exactly, you need two pairs, one for the tougher key games and a less experienced pair who gain their experience by playing in the domestic cups and easier Premiership ties.

Anywhere but in football it would obvious that if you leave a player to rot on the bench for years on end, he will feel rejected, be lacking match-sharpness and his form will be crap. Similarly you can’t expect a 17-year-old without a minute’s previous first-team expeience to his name to keep a clean sheet against City or Bayern. But this is precisely what we do every damn season. Remember Djourou having to play against Barca alongside Squillaci? Remember how good Monreal was until it was made clear to him that Gibbs was first choice and he’d never get a game unless – or rather until – injuries forced it?

What’s wrong with planning and acquiring a 25-man squad you’re actually willing to use? OK, anyone can suffer bad luck. I remember a season when we lost all three left backs and Chelsea lost both their keepers. No club, however rich and well-organised can plan for that degree of misfortune, but looking at our 25 – someone below has the list – the lack of balance is striking. No wonder every year come February we’re crippled with injuries and the season implodes.

Atletico Islington

Signing/securing squad rotation players seems to be even harder than signing the big names. I guess it’s hard to open negotiations with a player with the premise that if all goes well he won’t be picked very often.


25 Man Squad Analysis for 14/15

Home Grown Players
1. Wojciech Szczesny 24
2. Kieran Gibbs 24
3. Jack Wilshere 22
4. Theo Walcott 25
5. Aaron Ramsey 23
6. Carl Jenkinson 22

Under 21 Players
1. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 20
2. Yaya Sanogo 21
3. Ryo Miyaichi 21
4. Serge Gnabry 18
5. Gedion Zelalem 17
6. Damian Martinez 21

Non-Home grown players
1. Mathieu Debuchy 28
2. Per Mertesacker 29
3. Thomas Vermaelen 28
4. Laurent Koscielny 28
5. Tomáš Rosický 33
6. Mikel Arteta 32
7. Lukas Podolski 29
8. Mesut Özil 25
9. Olivier Giroud 27
10. Alexis Sanchez 25
11. Nacho Monreal 28
12. Santi Cazorla 29
13. Mathieu Flamini 30
14. Abou Diaby 28
15. Francis Coquelin 23
16. Joel Campbell 22
17. ???

As per the rules, we can buy only 1 more non-home grown player.
As we need a Goal Keeper, Centre Back and a Holding Midfielder, this would mean no room in the squad for Francis Coquelin and Joel Campbell.
If Vermaelen, Coquelin and Campbell all were to leave, then we could add 4 more.(doubtful)


“An Under 21 player is defined as one who is under the age of 21 on 1st January in the year in which the season commences.” Meaning that Ryo Miyachi, Damian Martinez & Ignasi Miquel will have to be registered this year.
I think Ryo will be off, Coquelin too, replaced with Damian Martinez (3rd choice keeper) and potentialy Ignasi Miquel (4th Choice CB, also counts as homegrown fortunately). So still leaves one spot for a non-homegrown squad member. I think it will be likely we will sign a GK and DM with Joel Campbell leaving on loan to get first team football (Makes no sense for him to stay, take up a squad space and be behind Theo, Ox, Sanchez, Cazorla, Podolski maybe even Rosicky for a space on the wing or Sanchez/Giroud up front. He may as well go on loan to the premiership and get some first team football). Then if Vermaelen leaves opens up a spot for a direct replacement.


Yup. My mistake..
Damian and Ignasi would take up the 7th and 8th place on the Home Grown list.
with Ryo, Coq and Campbell moving on/loaned.

That would mean Yaya too would have to be registered(non-home grown section). 93 born

So only 2 non-home grown slots available. A keeper/CDM there. And if Vermaelen leaves then straight replacement. Any further additions would mean certain departures.


Don’t think Sanogo will need to be registered as he was born in January.
I’m not entirely sure Damian Martinez is homegrown. Don’t know if he was here 3 years before his 21st birthday


That list is quite worrying as we have far too many non-home-grown players taking up space but who aren’t good enough – or aren’t believed to be good enough by Wenger – to start in Premiership games.

We’ve underused Podolski since we bought him. Vermaelen and Monreal have been left to rust and grown restive and demoralised. Poor Diaby really shouldn’t be taking up a place as he’s never managed more than three games on the trot. Coquelin, Ryo and Sanogo (though I like Coquelin myself) aren’t players you’d want facing Chelsea.

I’d be very sad to lose Arteta. He’s a good player and a model professional, but if we buy a younger and better holding midfielder, either he or Flam will be taking up space but never getting a game. In my view Sanogo shouldn’t be occupying a place as magnificent though he may be in the future, currently he’s way behind Akpom in skill and usefulness, not to mention the highly promising Campbell. Wenger likes Sanogo, however, and since I can’t see a Championship club wanting to take on his wages and develop him for us when he can’t score against even a conference side, it looks like we’ll have to sell/loan someone else. Ryo and Coquelin are the obvious candidates, if anyone wants them, but if nobody does, I fear it’s going to be Campbell who’ll be offloaded. Big shame in my view. He’s young and very, very promising.

Keeper, centre back, holding midfielder – but Wenger is apparently interested in a young rightback? It’s not looking like a balanced, practical squad at the moment.

Anonymous Physicist

Sanogo is a special case: he doesn’t have to be registered for the premier league (because he was born in 93 or later), but does have to be registered in the champions league, because UEFA only allows youth players from outside the squad of 25 if they’ve been with the club for at least two years.

I agree with vnet in that I’d expect Coquelin and Ryo to be excluded, with Martinez and Miquel taking spots 7&8 on the home grown list, but I’d like to see a place made for Campbell. That would only leave one more non-home grown senior spot, which will have to be the new goalkeeper. So there’s only place for another signing if we move someone on. However, that’s fair in my mind: if we get a new holding midfielder, Flamini cannot really expect any playing time, so might as well move on.

There’s also the possibility of replacing Vermaelen with someone homegrown to open up a non-home grown spot for a new signing, and then getting someone younger than Miquel (maybe even Hayden?) who doesn’t take a squad place to take the 4th choice centre back role, but that’s a bit football manager-y for my tastes.


I would put my house on Coq not being here next season and I would put my coq on Campbell playing somewhere else too..

Bergkamp Wonderland

As mentioned: those born before 1993 will count on the 25-man list (and 8 of them need to be home-grown)

Martinez is born on September 2, 1992 and according to wikipedia he’s been with the youth setup since 2010 (Arsenal.com claims he signed in 2005, but I’ll say that’s a mistake!) But I think he’s “home-grown”.

Ryo is born in December, 1992 – but I don’t think he’ll be on the 25-man team (and Coquelin neither)

If Wenger can’t bring in a centre half that is “home-grown” I think Miquel would be given the job as #4 (he’s born in September 1992) as he’ll count as the eight home-grown player (unless the goalie coming in is one of the British one we’ve been linked with – and not Ospina)
So that’s 15 non-home-grown i the squad + new GK + new CM/DM.

Still hold a small hope for someone like Javi Martinez – big guy that can cover in the back if need be. The other midfielders aren’t really able to do so, and outside of perhaps Jenkinson none of the senior full-backs looks in any way, shape or form as being able to do a job at centre half if need be.

New striker would be nice, but then Campbell or someone else (Arteta/Diaby/Flamini?) will have to be cut – and I thought he (Campbell) looked pretty good in the world cup, so if nothing above the level of Remy is on the table, I’d rather give him a shot.

And if Vermaelen does leave that opens up a spot for a replacement – but I’d rather stick with him personally. (No problem having Adams, Bould, Keown, Linighan on the team in the early 90’s was there? Need some dept if we wanna win something!


Decent workout for the lads…. i’m glad we are still in the market as our squad still needs strengthening…..Yaya Sanogo might later on in his career turn into a great striker, but Chuba Akpom is a better striking option right now….I hope to see more of him

On holiday

If we get £10 million off Man Utd for a bloke out of contract in 12 months and who will spend most of the season in their treatment room I say do it. He’s replaceable, injury prone and error prone.

Springbank 1965

Nice to see Diaby and Kristoffer Olsson play well.


Kris Olsson also played well in last years pre-season. shame he couldn’t break through. Reminds me of Lansbury somehow.


Olsson has looked really good whenever I’ve seen him play. So has Eisfield to be honest but they have the most competitive position in our team to break into and the players we have are quite young (Ramsey, Wilshere, Ozil etc). Same goes for Toral. I think Eisfeld chance maybe gone which is a shame because he is technically fantastic, just looks quite weak and he’s now 21. Toral and Olsson have a chance as they are younger but its gonna be tough.

There are 5 players I think have a good chance of making it if they reach their potential:
Julio Pluguezelo (Young CB that we got from Barca)
Isaac Hayden (CB can play DM)
Hector Bellerin

chopra gooner

I’d like Vermaelen to stay as he adds experience and versatility to our squad. However he’s been injured and his positional and general defensive performances haven’t been as good as before. I would love to have Ron Vlaar at Arsenal, he’s 29 and had a good World Cup, also rumours that he’s available for as little as 4m. Regardless of Vermaelen staying or leaving, I’d love to have Vlaar. Thoughts guys.

Desert Fox

He is slow as fuck and there is a reason he plays for Villa and hasnt been picked up by someone in the top 6.

Watch the games he played in and most of the time he was playing as part of a back 3, on various occasions he was rescued by Blind and various others in the team.


Honestly, if we are to write him off after not impressing in the last season and half mostly on account of unfortunate injuries and be happy with him leaving, we shouldn’t really expect loyalty back from our players. He was the captain last season and acted like one, never making awkward press statements about not getting enough playing time. He acted as a true captain and played such an important role in winning us the FA cup. I for one was delighted he got to lift the cup. I hope Wenger manages to keep him by promising him more game time than the last 2 minutes of added time….if he’s good enough to take us to the finals of the FA cup, surely we can give him game time in the premier league…

the man who would be bling
the man who would be bling

Very well said, pavan. I agree entirely. The fact that neither of the Kosacker was injured was very lucky. Hopefully the Verminator stays and gets his fill of games. If he does leave, I wish him well and understand his decision, and am thankful for 5 years of his service.


He is decent


This time…Per!.has something. ..something bad vibe.


Would be a shame to see him go, very professional despite being a captain finding himself out of the team – unless we can sell him overseas he should be kept as more than adequate cover.

Tazmanian Jesus

I just transferred Sanchez from Barca to Arsenal on Fifa, and noticed something hilarious….he has a rating of 82, and Alex Song has a rating of 83!
I actually did lol.


I think the “overall ratings” in FIFA are based on a few important qualities as per position rather than all-round qualities. For example a forward with just very good speed and finishing and not much else will easily have overall rating around 85 and a forward with a lot of all -round qualities like passing and ball control but not excellent finishing will have lesser overall rating.


FIFA’s stats are a joke, Messi’s heading stat is higher than than Peter Crouch


FIFA stats are also a conglomeration of use by players who are connected to the EA servers in online leagues or ranked matches. This is not weighted as heavily as the ‘player form’ or ‘team form,’ but is factored when selections are made while connected to XBL or PSN.

the man who would be bling
the man who would be bling

A joke how? Crouch is shite at heading the ball, he just climbs on peoples’ backs and fouls them. Also, his robot dance pales compared to Mertesacker’s dancing, who shows the real way for big guys to dance.

Henry! Chance!! Goal!!!
Henry! Chance!! Goal!!!

Chuba Akpom! That boy has it. I hope he gets a chance to show what he can do. I’ll like to see him make a few carling cup appearances


Totally OT but I would wager that Messi has more career headed goals than Crouch.

the man who would be bling
the man who would be bling

I’ve always thought Crouch is surprisingly poor with his head, especially for a guy who is always used as a target man. He wins headers as he is tall, but his heading technique is pretty lousy in my eyes, although with his feet he is better than you’d expect. Not that I can do half of what he does, of course. I shouldn’t pick on him, but I am, because it’s easy and fun. : )


Thomas should have been given the chance to play , in certain games away , in a destructive role in front of our back four.

Liverpool , for example.
If he goes to Man U I will be really pissed off !

Desert Fox

I think he would be destructive to our back four – his positional sense has always been a bit suspect to me


I’m happy with Hayden or Pleguezuelo as 4/5th choice CBs, but not for 3rd. Verminator was good when called on last season and will do a job as 3rd choice. The only CB of decent enough quality I’d seen us linked with was the St Etienne chap who joined Chelsea in Jan…


Would it be so inconceivable for us to regularly rotate between cbs? I know arsene isn’t a fan of that kind of thing but surely it’s more beneficial than not.


Lots of down votes coming up.

Rumors on the internet that Raphaël Varane wants out of our feeder club, Real Madrid.

Already has worked with Kos in the French team and would be a good rotational CB building up partnership with Kos, BFG and whoever else comes through the youth system.


United are gonna slump even further next season. Van gaal, the so called ‘tactical genius’, a man who played a 6-2-2 formation a couple of times in the world cup.. Expect more horrible football and chel$ki-esque park the bus tactics. Don’t get me wrong, Vermaelen is a good player but if he wants to join united then i say let him off. they’re miles behind us – we’d probably get at least £10 million for him. bring in Iñigo Martinez as his replacement.


Off topic but many underestimate the usefullness. I don’t see Alexis developing into a forward in the long term just as another goal threat and an alternative option in certain games. Without giroud our set peice threat will be solely on the CBs. And given the number of midfildiers we have his hold up play will be missed a lot.

gooners n roses

Anyway, who else you think is reasonable price wise and willing to be the 3rd CB. To be honest im struggling with this.