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Thomas Vermaelen: ‘The decline of Arsenal skipper’



Thomas Vermaelen: ‘The decline of Arsenal skipper’

Thomas Vermaelen, the Belgian centre back was one of the pillars of Arsenal defense from 2009-10 season to 2013-14 season.

He was one of the best men in Arsenal squad at his time in North London. But injury woes had kept him outside the pitch for several occasions and this had affected his career badly.

The decline of his career graph started from his last season playing for Arsenal and it had got a sharp decline after joining Barcelona in 2014 with a transfer fee worth £15 millions.


The Belgian left-footed center back had a great career with Arsenal. He had got his first goal for Arsenal in his Debut match. He was paired with William Gallas in the central defense in his first season for Arsenal on 2009.

Thomas Vermaelen was voted as Player of the Month of Arsenal twice in the official website of Arsenal.

His goal scoring ability as a defender was spectacular and was nominated as Belgian Sportsman Of The Year that season.

Vermaelen got himself into ‘PFA Team of The Season’ in 2009-10 season.

In the following season Thomas was sidelined by an Achilles tendon injury representing Belgium National team, and missing almost the rest of the season featuring only in couple of matches.

Vermaelen was named the vice captain of Arsenal in 2011-12 season. He was one of the outstanding performer for Gunners that season, not only netting some really important goals but also his ‘telepathic’ partnership with Koscielny in the central defense was a rock solid one.


The reward for his out standing performances as vice-captain came sooner than expected when he was given the ‘arm-band’ by Arsene Wenger in 2012-13 season.

But here begins the downfall, his consecutive bad performances that season led to Per Mertesacker to establish his position in the central defense. Vermaelen tried hard to re-establish his position in the Arsenal side as a regular starter but unfortunately he failed to do so.

The picture didn’t change much for Vermaelen following season and injuries were really affecting his career badly that time.


Despite of injuries Thomas Vermaelen had shown his quality, and now joining Barcelona in 2014-15, but he had to undergo a surgery for the hamstring injury.

In the meantime Jeremy Mathieu had established his place at the heart of defense at Camp Nou.

After recovering from injury, he was mostly in the reserve bench for the Catalans and coming as a substitute in few matches. It was getting difficult for him to take the position in the starting lineup ahead of Pique, Mascherano and Mathieu.


With lack of game time Thomas Vermaelen was loaned to Roma in 2016 for a campaign to get his career back on track. Yet, he failed to give notable performances in the capital of Italy.

Now he is back with Barcelona hoping to get his chance under new manager Ernesto Valverde and recently started a game in Copa Del Rey after 591 days for Barcelona.


Some sources are telling that Barcelona might release Vermaelen in this January transfer window.

The left footed center back was a real gem in the defense for Arsenal in his first few seasons. But the injuries had let his career down. The player did not manage to cope up in the Barcelona side in this 3 seasons and ‘The Verminator’ of Arsenal had become a reserve bench player of Barcelona within this time period.

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