FC Barcelona has been quite busy this transfer window in preparation for the 2014/2015 La Liga season and their latest signing is Belgian center-back Thomas Vermaelen from Arsenal. The fee is reported to be around 10 million Euros and consists of a five year deal according to fcbarcelona.com. The former Arsenal captain will bring much needed depth to a Barcelona back line that has been lacking true center-backs bar Pique and Bartra.
Vermaelen is a strong versatile defender that can also play as a left full-back if needed. He may be the most ideal partner for Pique in central defense because of his good vision which is essential to the ‘Barca’ style of play. Vermaelen brings with him plenty of European experience in top clubs and is capable of handling the pressure of being a Barcelona player. Fresh off an FA Cup win last season he will look to continue his trophy collection playing alongside the best players in the world like Messi, Neymar, Iniesta, and co. Vermaelen will be tasked with defending against the best, but it’s an ask he’s up to.
The Belgian defender like most other players, stated that Barcelona is a ‘dream move’. “It’s a dream for many players to come here, so it wasn’t a difficult decision for me to make”, stated Vermaelen during his presentation on August 10th. Vermaelen will wear the number 23 jersey and hopes to make an immediate impact and learn from all the talent around him.
There is one worry that Barcelona should bear in mind: Vermaelen is injury prone. He is coming off a tough season at Arsenal in which he sustained injuries and also was unable to compete for most of Belgium’s World Cup campaign due to an injury during warm-ups. Barcelona will hope Vermaelen can stay fit so that he can help the back line.
Barcelona have signed a proven, tough central defender with all the quality to succeed in Spain. The battle for Pique’s partner will be between Vermaelen and newly signed Mathieu. Vermaelen looks the better option if he can stay fit.
Google+: Juan Carlos Ramirez