With the summer transfer window already well into action, many Arsenal fans world wide are yet again expecting a flock of stars at the Emirates this summer especially on the back of a reported £100M set to be handed to Arsene Wenger as well as several other Arsenal stars being linked with a move out of the Emirates.
The form of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker saw the Gunners’ captain lose his starting place towards the end of the 2012/2013 season as well as the whole of the 2013/2014 season and will seek a fresh challenge after the World Cup.
Thomas Vermaelen is set to follow Bacary Sagna out of the Arsenal exit door this summer according to Goal.
The Gunners’ captain wants to find a new club after slipping down the pecking order at Emirates Stadium over the last 15 months.
Arsenal expect the Belgian to become their second senior defender to leave in this window following Sagna, whose transfer to Manchester City on a three-year deal was confirmed on Friday.
Vermaelen has only a year remaining on his contract and Arsenal are unlikely to stand in the way of a move if they receive an offer that matches their £8 million valuation.
Manchester United and Napoli are among the clubs closely monitoring the versatile defender’s situation.
The 28-year-old is expected to be a key figure for widely fancied Belgium in the World Cup, starting alongside Vincent Kompany in the centre of defence.
A strong tournament could increase interest across Europe in Vermaelen and give him more options later in the summer.
The Belgium international has been the third-choice centre-back at Arsenal since an error-strewn display in a 2-1 derby defeat to Tottenham in March 2013 prompted Arsene Wenger to make Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny his preferred central defence partnership.
Mertesacker and Koscielny have both signed contract extensions in recent months, keeping them at Emirates until 2017 and 2018 respectively.
Arsenal will be in the market for a new centre-back if Vermaelen ends his five-year spell at the club.
It is believed that although the unsettled skipper wants a move away from the Emirates in search of first team action, Wenger will however try to convince his captain to remain at North London and fight for his place in the team.
In my own opinion, “The Verminator” still remains a decent player despite his previously dismay performance which was followed by a string of injuries befalling the player.
It would be nice if Wenger can try to retain the Belgian as his versatility remains key for any team, with the 6ft tall man capable of playing down the left-full back position as well as his default centre-back role not leaving behind the threat he packs with him when going forward as the defender had in his early days at Arsenal been known for his goal scoring abilities.