This summer transfer window has so far been the Gunner’s most busiest in recent times.
Despite earlier reports that Barcelona had made a bid to sign Arsenal Captain Thomas Vermaelen, Arsenal hero – Nigel Winterburn had earlier believed the player will join Manchester United this summer.
The Belgian defender had been on the radar of the Manchester United manager, Louis Van Gaal, all summer long as a candidate to bolster his defence line in the wake of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic departures from the club.
Speaking to talkSPORT, he expressed the belief that his former club would sell the Belgium International to rivals Manchester United. A deal worth £10m had been mooted in recent weeks, despite the rivalry between the two clubs, and Winterburn reckons the transfer will in the end be completed.
To talkSPORT, he said, ‘’we like selling our players to Manchester united, don’t we? If Manchester United make the best offer and, that’s where Thomas Vermaelen wants to go, then I believe he will end up there’. I don’t think Arsene Wenger wants to, but he has a lot of respect for the player who has been there for a little while. He would love to sell him abroad if he did go but it wouldn’t surprise me if he ends up at Manchester United’’.
Nigel Winterburn, who played for Arsenal from 1987-2000, said all these because he believes Wenger doesn’t bother about selling any of his players to a rival in the English Premier League. The manager is more about making the player happy because he has served the Arsenal football club and hasn’t caused him any problems. He however, feels losing Vermaelen wouldn’t have much effect on the current Arsenal squad, considering his drop in form over the last couple of seasons.
Meanwhile, at the time of writing this article, Thomas Vermaelen has already been snapped up by Barcelona in a fee said to be in the region of £15m following a successful medical underwent by the 28-year-old.
This makes it obvious that firstly, former club greats or legends can be wrong as they make statements based on intuition sometimes and not facts that stem from their closeness to coaches, agents and associates in clubs. Secondly, the fact that Wenger is determined to end the trauma of selling to rival clubs in the Barclays English Premier League.
Over the recent past, Arsenal has been a hunting ground for talents that either the club intended to cash-in on or ones that became disgruntled as a result of Arsenal’s lack of trophies and seeming lack of determination to challenge for titles. This has been the case over the last decade when the Gunners transited form Highbury to the Arshburton Grove otherwise known as the Emirates. During this period, Arsenal had done business selling his most important players to rivals especially Manchester City, who bought Samir Nasri, Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy and Kolo Toure. Chelsea also bought Ashley Cole and Manchester United secured the services of then club Captain, Robin Van Persie.
On Thomas Vermaelen, his departure is not even as sad as Winterburn getting his hunch wrong about the player’s destination.