Monday, July 22, 2024

Report: Vermaelen to leave this summer

Thomas Vermaelen has informed Arsene Wenger of his desire to leave Arsenal this summer, according to a report in Belgian publication La Dernière Heure

Claiming to have spoken to the Belgian international’s representatives, Sports Entertainment Group, the newspaper says that Manchester United made a tentative approach for the centre-back in January but that the player’s current injury problems and a lack of cover at the Emirates scuppered any possibility of a move.

As has been well-documented Vermaelen has cut a frustrated figure this season spending most of the last twelve months on the bench as back up to Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.

The 28-year-old has previously been linked to Napoli and Zenit St Petersburg and will likely have a number of suitors come the summer especially if he gets minutes in the World Cup.

Given Bacary Sagna, Wenger’s de facto fourth choice centre-back, is stalling on a new deal it looks as though defensive reinforcements will be top of the list this summer for the Gunners.



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Disappointed to loose an experienced international CB from the squad, but can’t say I’m surprised he’s reaching his peak years and needs to play every week

the only sam is nelson

exactly. this is why it’s absurd to imagine that we can demand, and get, “world class” centre backs who will accept being 3rd or even 4th choice. any player with a reputation for being world class who does accept that is clearly looking forward to a nice cushty number and we don’t want them. i hope he stays but it’s a sign that he’s still ambitious and has quality that he’d want to move on, so fair enough. it’s a bit ironic i suppose, given our injuries in the midfield, that we’re effectively being punished for the fitness of Mertescielny,… Read more »

Az Ahmed

The answer is simple and staring us in the face. Use him in midfield as an enforcer.

Bould's Eyeliner

I’d rather we let him go than resort to nonsense like that.

Finsbury Park Gooner

How is that nonsense? I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.


I’d agree. He’s Flamini-esque in his approach with a little more finesse. We could do a lot worse than keep him and play him DM. And if we keep him, he’s a shoe-in for cover at the back.


I thought the same for ages. it seemed obvious.

Wenger must have tried it (like with Petit). For countless hours. I imagine he was caught on the ball too much and gave away too many free kicks in training.

He can’t play there, despite what many may think in my opinion.

Bould's Eyeliner

You say more ‘finesse’ but his passing completion and positional discipline is less capable than Flamini’s in my opinion. He’s a solid player, but I can’t really see how he’d be comfortable with linking the back to the middle in Arsenal’s build up play, when his passing is just…. yeah. He can certainly score every now and then, but then again so can every enforcer midfielder we have.

So… try to force Vermaelen into some new role at the peak of his career? That’s honestly nonsense, let the man play his preferred career elsewhere. Sheesh.


You watched our last two games mate? Our biggest problem was deep midfielders getting caught on the ball, if Arteta is getting caught doing it how do you think a center half will cope? He needs to be told he’s staying unless we can get in a better or equal caliber replacement. We’re not in a position where we need to sell financially or in terms of player numbers. 3 CBs and Bac away in the summer… Keep him, we will need him. Mertescielny may sound and play like a machine but there will be injuries that’s why title challenging… Read more »


He is 28 and prime of his career with his experience, we cannot change his position now…..

Oh yes

You can’t do that. He is our only cover a full back.


While the enforcer idea is interesting, switching a player at his age isn’t reliable, our system needs a secure passer at the back where one of his flaws tends to be caught out on the ball.

Besides, he’s not much more than a year younger than Flamini anyway, so he still ends up as an option; just in a different position, and not his natural one.

'like a new signing'

Its frustrating because we have other fish 2 fry this summer, e.g a world class centre forward, a DM who can run. And now Wenger will be focussed on buying a CB. And we know he won’t buy too many new players thru fear of ‘destabilizing squad’. Annoying.


Agreed, but it does change the Sagna-situation quite abit. If the reports of him wanting to stay on a 3-year deal and not getting it are true, then they really should just sign him up. Sure, the wages will be expensive, but good back-ups are hard to get.

Furthermore, when Jenkinson surpasses Sagna as first-choice, Sagna as backup to both RB and CB would still get plenty of playing time (probably as much as any first-team player).. and with an addional young CB-signing the defence-situation would be set for quite a while.


Good points Reidar, I’ll add the fact that it might actually be a perfect transition for Sagna to become center back as he approaches years 33-34 in age. Wenger has a choice—if he sticks to his stated philosophy of not buying more than 2-3 players as it would destabilize the squad, then he has to prevent disruption by signing Sagna up. Or he goes ahead and signs two central defenders, one right back, and fills the hole in DM and at CF. Of course, the third option, the scary one, is that he lets Thomas and Bacary leave, but signs… Read more »


Lose,not loose.


Hardly a surprise, if true.

Podolski situation is very similar, can see him want out too.


I was reading Arseblog today, and i quote about poldi “5 goals to his name this season, and those 5 goals have come from just 6 shots on goal”

5 goals from 6 shots?????? This guy is a machine. Shame that our system doesnt utilize him to the fullest. He can be world class. :/


It’s a false statistic. Podolski hit the post against Fulham and missed a shot against West Ham. 6 shots aren’t a possibility.


“shots on goal” = 6 shots on target, not total shots.


Trying too hard to take away poldis shine mate. Hecan be world class I agree


FFS the guy has 5 goals in not many games and definitely not many minutes. Word has it that there are guys on here not beginning their sentences with capital letters. They’re the ones you want to go for mate!


Giroud should leave arsenal

the only sam is nelson

yup, we’ve too many strikers. it’s boring, everyone is always pointing it out, but we need to cut back on forwards.

Tony Hall

I think people should get of the HFB’s case. He isn’t Henry quality, he never will be *that world class* but he admits that. It isn’t his fault he is knackered due to Theo being crocked and a general lack of striking options in the club. His hold up play is excellent, he get’s back and defends constantly, he is good enough to get 20+ goals for the club each season and deserves our support. Instead of slagging the guy off when he is clearly *fucked* at the moment, cheer him on, give him encouragement …


I saw this earlier and thought ‘that comment will be hidden soon’. Ha ha!


this is bad

Top Gunner

The curse of Arsenal captains leaving the club strikes yet again 🙁

Bould's Eyeliner

Except that we have interim captains who have had presence not only on the pitch but in the dugout, in the clubroom, in Arteta, Mertesacker, in Rosicky, up and coming Wilshere, etc.

It’s not quite the same now, and if anything, I have to respect Vermaelen for not hanging onto being club captain and looking to make an impact, if elsewhere. He’s a great player, and he deserves better than what he’s getting now.


No striker this summer again. RB + CB now a priority.

A to the HA

Oh Yes, because it is impossible to sign more than two players right ?

with the left and the right

no need for a RB, Jenkinson’s been promised a chance and he should get it. Promoting Bellerin to the first team as cover would make sense and save money. But a CB a def must maybe even two. Unless Miquel gets promoted which unfortunately right now seems unlikely


This is a real worry. I say this because I don’t trust the management to go and get ALL the players we need. We came into this season short of strikers. If Sagna and TV5 both leave, that means we HAVE to sign at least 2-3 defensive options. And I just don’t think AW will go out and strengthen the squad for us to really push on from here. I hope I’m wrong though…


It would be brilliant if you were wrong, but history suggests. . . I mean, when in living memory have we not been just a little bit short in terms of quality and numbers? Either we’re fine for strikers and/or attacking midfield but are undone by not having a reliable keeper and defence, or it’s the other way round. For at least 15 years people have been pointing out that it wouldn’t take much, not massive spending, just two or three strategic quality signings for Arsenal to compete. But we never make them, do we, not until it’s too late?… Read more »

In Soviet Russia, WENGA sacks YOU

There is so much truth in your post. Thank you Miranda.


Miranda you paint a very bleak picture!

Ollie Garkie

200m? For a good back-up CB, a RB in his prime, a young first-choice striker, a second-string keeper and possibly another on loan?

So that’s 50m on the CB, 40m on the RB, 70m on the striker, 30m for the sub keeper and 10m for the loan signing/3rd choice keeper.

Not too sure about your numbers there. Monaco we are not. Though I agree with the flavour of the post.

Jack's Right Foot

Shit man. I still love this guy. 🙁


not to united.

Jack's Right Foot

I would rather gnaw off my arm and kick a wall with knives lodged under my toe nails twice a day for the rest of my life than watch our Verminator go to United. Oh god please don’t let this happen, Arsene.


looks like you really don’t want him to go to United.


Why? I think it’s cute that Man U want to improve their team with players who aren’t good enough for our first team. From being the club everybody wanted to play for, they’re now paying handsomely for tablescraps (no offence intented for Vermaelen, he’s a great guy.. but Mertesacker and Kocielny are better footballers than him).


Exchange for Van Persie? It’s no secret he wants out and at 32, with a dodgy injury history, not many clubs will be queuing up to pay good money for him. It’s an absolutely ghastly idea, but I wouldn’t be astonished if it happened. Just depends on whether Van Persie himself now sees us as preferable to United and his best option, I guess.


I was thinking no way to manure then realized he will probably want champions league football. No worries. Miranda he not worthy of being named can F**f off he is not welcome!!!


Thought West Ham were after him? …but seriously, how much would Manure need to offer for you to say yes? About £28m would do it for me, he’s at least as capable as Felliani. Let’s not forget as much as we like him, he is suspect at times. Manure could easily get a better CB… and so could we with £28m 😉

Bergkamp's bronze statue

No excuse to not buy a replacement then. Oh wait this is Arsenal!


We’ll get replacements for both Sagna and Vermaelen definitely, but it will most likely be on transfer deadline day, and one of the two would be discovered to have an ACL tear during his medical.

Don Cazorleone

Anywhere but utd


What about Westham?


Poor Tommy! It’s understandable that he should want to leave but I really hope we don’t sell him to Manure. In terms of the squad looks like we’ll need a minimum of four first team players in the summer. At least one GK, a RB, 1-2 CBs, and a CF… minimum. Maybe this explains Wenger’s reluctance to spend the better part of £40mil on Draxler!


Looks like it will be a tense final day of the transfer window trying to get that many players in…

No chance of us doing anything now, like getting a plan for targets in place, of course. We don’t want to stoop to other teams’ level.


Er, no. Wenger isn’t a planner. He’s a reactor, an opportunist who waits for players to come available at what he sees as the right price. Trouble is, with other clubs getting richer and employing better scouts, the opportunities for bargains aren’t presenting themselves like they used to when he was the only Premiership manager with any knowledge of the places where bargains were likely to be found. This, plus the financial constraints of the stadium debt and his own native frugality and stubbornness, plus the demand for trophies, plus probably an awareness that recently he has made some expensive… Read more »


you make some good observations, but including Ozil in that list will get you thumbed down. rightly so, give the man time.
Like someone said a few days ago, he is more of a connect-the-dots type of player, who needs to see things happening in front of him and he will create the killer opening. With no pace in front of him, and no Ramsey making runs off the triangular passing near the D, he is blunted.
that said, wouldn’t mind seeing him go on a dribble or two.


Oh there’s no shortage of things to get the thumbs down. Suggesting that Dein had a positive effect on Wenger invariably gets up people’s noses. I’m surprised half a dozen people haven’t reminded me, as they usually do, that Dein treacherously sold his Arsenal shares – imagine it! the nerve of the man, selling shares in an organisation that’s just kicked him out and having the face to take money for them! I agree with you about Oezil, unsurprisingly, since it was precisely the point I was making: he needs the right sort of strikers moving in front of him.… Read more »


The point you made was that he was an expensive mistake. Nothing more, nothing less. He is arguably the best player in his position. He has admitted that he hasn’t been as good as he can be lately, which is something if he is still on 10+ assists so far this season. It’s his first season in England, new environment, new team, new chapter and yet he is still having a very influential time in our colours. The kid is on the backs of Ronaldo and Messi as world’s greatest and you’re palming him off as a mistake by comparing… Read more »


If he went to United then following the trend of our captains joining other clubs and their managers getting the sack in 12 months we can make United a massive favour in getting rid of Moyes. So, we should sell him to Chelsea or Liverpool instead.


We don’t need to sell him to Chelsea to get rid of Mourinho. Mourinho, who is at Chelsea “for the long term”, will go to PSG or Monaco within the next 3 years. Trust me, it’s in his nature. His career consists of jumping from one sugar daddy club to the next for periods of ~3 years.


Would’ve made a fantastic DM..all the tools


Except passing and positioning. He’s also far too long in the tooth to start playing second fiddle in our midfield. If it hasn’t happened by now, it never will.


Excellent point, Chaplin. The longer Moyes stays in the job the funnier it gets. I can’t stand him, never could.

why is my name required

if we don’t win a single trophy this season it will only get worse.
First Sagna now Vermaelen.

we’re losing our experienced players. i fear for our club if we don’t win a trophy this season


how i wished wenger can play him like how pep plays lahm in munich.

he has the speed, passing range and a wicked long shot. im sure arteta can impart some DM tips to him.

disappointing that hes leaving. i was hoping in the january window we would snap up a 3rd/4th choice defender, then TV5 can play as a dm.

i can understand the risk of playing 3 CDs tgt, any injury to any one of them will impose a huge obstacle to our top 3 finish.

Chairman Meow

Nice idea, i like it

Finsbury Park Gooner

Why is this a nice idea here with countless thumbs up.. while some other poor sod said it further up the thread and got derided??

For the record I agree, I think The Verm has great potential to play DM.


Can’t blame him for being ambitious. He is solid enough to play in the most sides in the top european leagues. As a 28-old player has last chance to grasp his big contract as well. Question is whether we are willing to sell to our opponents again. Man Utd will look for centre-back, Vermaelen is a good option. We will look for 1-2 CB too, Barcelona needs one and probably all teams will choose among the same few players on “top top top quality” level. Selling TV5 to Man Utd may strenghten our rival but on the other hand gives… Read more »


That’s two CB’s and a right back then..suddenly the shopping list looks trickier…

Don Cazorleone

what is it with our captains and leaving


We rely too heavily on mertescielny….they have formed a great partnership, but we need to be able to rotate without upsetting the balance. Why can’t we keep 3 decent centre backs happy?


Precisely because we don’t rotate as a policy. We wait until injuries force it. Then we bring in the discarded and demoralised or the very young without a minute’s first-team experience to their name. Ideally you need four centre backs, two pairs whom you rotate throughout the season: the first-choice pair for the bigger games; the younger pair for the smaller ones so they gain the experience they need to develop. If you don’t do this, you can find yourself with Djourou and Squillaci facing Messi; or, in the worst-case scenario this season , Isaac Haydon against Bayern and City.


Our rotation policy, or the lack thereof, is one of a few things that I am not in agreement with Wenger. If you look at the likes of Ferguson in the past, Benitez, Pellegrini, Mourinho, Ancelotti, etc., and how they rotate squad members with certain but reasonable level of gambling, Wenger really has an issue of overusing players and refusing to rotate even when it seems adequate. Our rather thin squad doesn’t help our situation either, but surely Wenger can do a better job rotating players based on the matches.

Mental Strength

This is really sad news. But I guess it’s something that we can’t do any thing about and have to move on. This summer, I’ll be sad as 2 of my favourite players will be leaving. I wish good luck for their future careers.


I really like TV5 would really be a shame to see him leave, hopefully wenger can play him enough times from now till the end of the season for him to change his mind.

Also, Sagna.. Sign da ting


Thomas Vermaelen is an arsenal legend in my eyes. This news is hardly surprising given his age and undoubted proficiency at CB. He was central to our efforts to get champions league qualification between 08-12 and arguably the best CB in the prem during those years. Unlucky mistakes, an unexplained emergence of (very) occasional positional naïvety, and of course the revelation of the mertesacker-koscielny partnership has meant he rarely gets the minutes at the top level he truly deserves. If he leaves his 100% commitment and highly talented attributes will never be forgotten – not to mention his knack for… Read more »


maybe not legend. but he is an awesome character!


So that means, this summer we need 2 backup CBs, 1 proper RB, a good striker and 1, maybe 2 backup keepers??? Wow..

Mark Gibney

What a shame!


can we not play him as a DM?


It’s the curse of the captaincy.

I still think Arsene should have turned him into a DM as well as CB. Now I guess it’s too late.


It Sucks. What I find surprising though is that other top teams manage to keep their back up centre backs who are pretty solid at their clubs for extended periods. Although I understand that Per and Kos partnership has left very little chance for rotation. Would love to see him stay, especially as we’ve seen that he is still a great defender.


And the curse of the arm band strikes again


Awww fucking hell, fabianski, sagna and vermaelen going, probably with podolski as well? No wonder we’ve gotta bloody go for the title this year, we’re gonna lack any sort of experience in our squad next year. Understandable that these guys want minutes elsewhere but its gonna weaken Arsenal overall if our squad lacks some long serving players, just purely in terms of harmony within the team, comittment and understanding of our game. No wonder they want Rosicky to sign on. Tbh the departure of verm at least would be exciting if it weren’t for the fact that there are literally… Read more »

m a gunner

If united want to go for a centre back who can’t get into our team then fine ! We need to find a new defensive pairing to learn from mert/kosh and fill in when necessary !! Sagna needs to stay !! If not buy shamus coleman from everton


I’m surprised Wenger hasn’t played him in midfield. He converted Petit from defence to DM and Toure the other way around. I think TV has all the attributes and we’d see more of his hammer of a left foot!


Anyone else remember the days of Martin “The Rash” Keown when George Graham would assign him to man mark the opposition playmaker out of the game? It worked every time.
Would love to see Vermaelen occasionally being employed in the same role against the top teams. Man City.Toure. Man United Rooney.Chelsea Hazzard.Champions League.Bayern Schweinsteiger for example.
Rocket science it isn’t but we surely have to do something different every once in a while!


Koscielny is our best man marker when playing well.


Certainly not the sort of class player that will be easily replaced. I feel for him though I wouldnt wanna be warming my arsenal on the bench for 12 mths or more.
Looks like gilles and co are going to be even more busy in the run up to the summer transfer market opens. Lets hope the chk book n pen can bring some much needed reinforcements.

Arsene Around

With these circumstances arising with Vermaelen and Sagna defensive reinforcements are important but surely just a big priority is a world class striker to put pressure on Giroud. We are probably one of the only clubs in the premier league who would have started Giroud after his dire performance at liverpool. He‘s a decent player but that‘s it and he needs competition of a notable standing.


Sad news, but I hope we don’t sell any player to our domestic rivals. Does anyone remember Kos saying he would leave also if we don’t win, if that’s true we would lose 3 top quality players including Sagna. Will WENGER buy 3-4 players? I don’t think so.


Its sad when it doesnt work out for some players. I dont like the idea of a captain, we should abolish the role. We can hire a sports psychologist instead.


I always wondered if there was more going on behind the scenes to Vermaelens benching. When his best pal Van Persie left to United I always wondered if it was going to be a double coup of Vermaelen and bringing Fabregas in from the cold from Barca for United…..I sooooooo hope not!

Big Chief From Antarctica

Vermaelen signed a contract in that season of 2011-2012. In fact, in 2011 when everything was doom and effing gloom. Vermaelen is a gent.


And yes why not play verma alongside flamini for a change? Just to change things up a bit. He has a killer left foot and he does like to run forwards, we might transform him into a new player.


Best 3rd choice central defender in the league. Shame if we can’t keep him but he is third choice so some perspective required.

Sarson Vinegar's Frightening Sarnie

Vermaelen was class but then got unlucky. Hit some shit form (and lets not gloss over this, he was making horrendous mistakes) then Mert and Kos became all kinds of superfuckingtelepathicawesome and there’s no way back to the first team for Vermaelen. Can’t expect a bloke of his caliber to sit on the bench. Good luck to him.


Fuck this, why are we talking about buying a cb in the summer when we have an awesome cb in Tommygun? Wenger has to find a way to accommodate him!


Say what you seen son, say what you see….


After that mauling from Liverpool I expected the same a change in the back line as we all were told when we lost to Spurs. Thomas and Poldi deserves more playing time. Arsen no consistency.


Samba? Heh…

palace gunner

The summer is world cup season,


Arsene cant manage a squad, there should games Podolski, vermalaen, bendtner, jenkinson et al could feature regularly without loss of quality and thus keep team fresh. The bench is there to be utilised and thats how you keep players happy. Nastasic, Luiz, Demichelis etc are all back up players who have got satisfactory game time. All it needs is efficient workload distribution.


This is a scary but visible possibility—what if we have peaked in terms of playing squad stamina? Everyone is tired or knackered, and that few extra ounces of energy needed in the big games are missing. There have been so many games where one could see possibilities of making a change earlier, and letting Bendtner, Podolski, etc get a little more playing time. This point does not apply to Vermaelen because you don’t disrupt the CB pairing in the middle of a game unless you have to, but the rest of the squad could have been used better. Business end… Read more »


World cup will make signings hard to do, like the euros in 2012. Put with that the lack of a good long pre season it’s just as well most of our requirements are for backups rather than the first 11.


I’d be sad to see him go. He was the one who stood by us and signed a new contract when every one else was jumping ship a few years ago.


If the Verminator leaves, then I will blame it on Wenger. Fine the Verm was on a terrible form at some points, but his form in the few games he has played this season has been nothing but fantastic. Knowing he’s injured at the moment but Wenger seems to be bad at squad rotation.

He's got no hair but we don't care...

Absolutely cannot go to manure.

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