Another defender has left the Emirates this summer to begin a new chapter in their career. This time Belgian international Thomas Vermaelen left England as he signed a five-year contract at FC Barcelona.
A statement on the club’s official website read, “FC Barcelona and Arsenal FC have reached an agreement for the transfer of the Belgian international, who will sign a five-year contract with the Catalan club.”
The 28-year-old center-back joined Arsenal from Ajax for £10m in 2009 and made 150 appearances in all competitions. Vermaelen developed during his time at Ajax not only as a defender, but also as a leader. That’s why he was captain during his time at Amsterdam as well as London.
Unfortunately, injuries infected his progress and cost him his place in Arsene Wenger’s starting XI. He ended on the bench as Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker enjoyed the manager’s favor.
As for Vermaelen, he hasn’t been able to show his full ability in the last two seasons for the Gunners, and he will need to train hard to improve and adapt at Barcelona. Nevertheless, his role in the dressing room and experience as well as his ability to form a danger in the air will appear as a pleasant addition.
FC Barcelona boss Luis Enrique has given his defensive options a boost with the signing of Thomas Vermaelen as he becomes Barcelona’s second center-back signing this summer. He will follow the path of former Arsenal players Marc Overmars, Thierry Henry, Alexander Hleb, Cesc Fabregas and Alex Song.