Thomas Vermaelen Joins Barcelona
Thomas Vermaelen has signed a 5 year deal with Barcelona after completing his £15 million move from Arsenal.
EPL Club Manchester United were also interested on the 28 year old Belgium International but pulled out of the deal when Arsenal asked for a player, believed to be Chris Smalling, in part exchange.
Thomas Vermaelen is the second defensive addition of the transfer window by Barcelona. Last month, they confirmed the signing of Valencia’s French defender Jeremy Mathieu for €20 millions.
Barcelona’s defence was a weak point last season, when they failed to win major silverware for the first time in 6 years, and coach Gerardo Martino was replaced by former Barcelona and Spain midfielder Luis Enrique.
Thomas Vermaelen will be competing for a place with Spain international Gerard Pique, Frenchman Jeremy Mathieu, and Barcelona academy graduate Marc Bartra. Barcelona starts their La Liga campaign, when they will be chasing a fifth title in 7 years, at home to Elche on 24 August.
More on Thomas Vermaelen:
Thomas Vermaelen joined Ajax youth academy in 2000 and won the 2003-04 Eredivisie title in his first season with the club. He then had a loan spell with RKC Waalwijk before rejoining Ajax and winning the KNVB Cup and Johan Cruijff Shield. After Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s departure in 2009, Vermaelen served as club captain for the remainder of the season. He then joined Arsenal in 2009 and was included in the PFA Premier League Team Of The Year for that season. Following former captain Robin van Persie’s transfer to Manchester United in August 2012, Vermaelen was named club captain for Arsenal.
Vermaelen’s career has been hampered by injury and he made only 21 appearances in the 2013-14 season after falling behind Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker in the pecking order.
A left footer, Vermaelen usually plays as a left sided centre back and can play at the left back as well. His key attributes includes aerial ability, leadership skills and quickness with the ball at his feet.
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