Barcelona have confirmed the capture of Thomas Vermaelen on a five-year deal for a fee thought to be £15 million.
The Belgian defender, 28, moved to Arsenal in 2009 from Ajax and was appointed captain by Arsene Wenger in the aftermath of Robin van Persie’s departure in 2012. In five seasons at the Emirates he made 150 appearances, scoring 15 goals.
Injuries pockmarked Vermaelen’s stay in London with the player sustaining a serious Achilles problem in 2010 that restricted him to just five appearances in his second season at the club.
While he returned to partner Laurent Koscielny at the start of 2011 and featured regularly with Per Mertesacker in 2012 neither partnership was deemed particularly stable and in the end he found himself regularly on the bench as backup to the ‘Axis of Awesome.’
A quiet, determined, steely-eyed character he remained professional to the last, rarely complaining about his lack of playing of time. He leaves as the first club captain to lift silverware since Patrick Vieira although having not played against Hull City you suspect even that experience was a little bittersweet.
Arseblog News wishes him all the best at the Camp Nou. We’re really very pleased he didn’t end up at Old Trafford.