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The skipper of Arsenal, Thomas Vermaelen, has said that Chelsea is a very strong team and it would not be easy to secure a win against them. The Gunners will take on Chelsea on Saturday at the Emirates Stadium. Both the teams are going through a good phase at the moment. Neither Arsenal nor Chelsea has lost a match in the ongoing Premier League so far. Chelsea is at the top of the points table, while, Arsenal is currently at no. 5.
Arsenal was not expected to perform that well after the exit of two of their superstar players before the start of the season, but, the team’s performance doesn’t seem to be affected too much by the departure of Robin Van Persie and Alex Song. The Gunners are going absolutely fine in the current season.
While talking to the reporters ahead of the Saturday’s match, the Arsenal captain praised the new signings of Chelsea. Vermaelen said, “Oscar is the major threat for us. He is in superb nick at the moment. We need to be careful against him.”
The new signings are performing brilliantly for Chelsea. Especially, Oscar has been superb right from the start of the season. He has played well in almost every match. The performance of Eden Hazard has also been decent and the inclusion of these two players has certainly strengthened Chelsea squad a lot.
Vermaelen said, “They have got a number of match winners. Their defense is pretty strong and they have got some very dangerous strikers as well.”
“We have also got some good players and it is going to be a cracker of a match for sure.”
Vermaelen wasn’t able to play in Arsenal’s previous Premier League match against Manchester City due to viral flu. When asked about his fitness, Vermaelen said, “I am all right. It was just a minor flu. I have trained hard in the last two days and I am looking forward to the Saturday’s match.”
The manager of Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, has said that Thomas Vermaelen will be the captain of the team in the pre season matches in the absence of Robin Van Persie. Varmaelen was the vice captain of the team in the last season. This is not the first time that Vermaelen is going to lead Arsenal. He had led the side before. He was the captain of Arsenal in the Emirates cup of the 2010-11 season. As per Wenger, Vermaelen is an experienced player. He has been with the club since the last three years. He is also the vice captain of the team. So, he was an obvious choice for the captaincy role.
On being asked about this new responsibility, Vermaelen said that it is a privilege to captain Arsenal. As per Vermaelen, when he was a teenager, he used to watch the matches of Arsenal on television. He was fascinated by the playing style of Arsenal players. He used to wish that he could play for Arsenal one day. He said that when he signed for Arsenal in 2009, it was like a dream come true. He was over the moon. And, now, he has got the opportunity to lead the side. He is very happy that the manager has trusted him for this role.
On being asked about Robin Van Persie, Vermaelen said that Van Persie is a great player and he has contributed a lot for the team over the years. But, at the same time, he said that Persie’s exit would not affect the performance of the team much. According to Vermaelen, there are a lot of talented players in the side who can fill the spot of Van Persie. He said that if the players perform up to their potential in the upcoming season, it would be very difficult for any other team to beat Arsenal.
Arsenal are looking extremely desperate to keep star strikers Theo Walcott and Robin van Persie, who both have only one year left on his contract. However, it looks like the Englishman and the Dutchman will not be the only ones to depart Arsenal this season.
It has been rumoured that Barcelona are increasingly confident that they can secure the services of Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen before the close of the summer transfer window. New Barcelona manager Tito Villanova has identified Thomas Vermaelen as the perfect replacement for Barcelona captain Carlos Puyol, who is coming to the end of his career.
The 34-year-old may have been inspirational for Barcelona last four seasons helping them win 14 trophies along the way, but he has been extremely injury prone in the last couple of months. He even missed the Euro 2012 as a result of long-term injury, which is likely to keep him out of the pre-season training. Barcelona reckon that they will not be able to get the best out of Carlos Puyol for more than a year. As a result, they have already lined up a replacement for the Barcelona captain in the form of Thomas Vermaelen. The Belgian defender has grown into one of the best defenders in England since arriving at Arsenal a few seasons ago.
The 23 year old Belgian, though, is thought to be extremely dissatisfied with the way Arsenal have been competing for major trophies. It has been seven seasons since Arsenal last lifted the major trophy. It has been the major reason for stars like Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas leaving the club last season, while it could be one of the major reasons this time around as well. Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott are expected to be the star names to depart the club this season.
Real Madrid are looking at the possibility of signing Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen in the summer along with defensive midfielder Alex Song. Both these players have become an influential part of the Arsenal set up, but they are reportedly extremely unhappy at the prospect of not being able to win the title with Arsenal in all these years at the club.
Hence, there has been reports that Spanish club Real Madrid will show an interest in the summer and are likely to tempt both these players with a move to sunny Spain. The Belgian centre back Thomas Vermaelen has become one of the main players at Arsenal, who is now capable of being the next Tony Adams.
Arsenal will have to fend off any interest from the Spanish club, but they know that it will be difficult to keep the player if they do not win titles. Further, Real Madrid will be able to offer much better terms when it comes to wages, while they also can offer the nine Champions League trophies on offer as well. Real Madrid are looking to sign a new defender in order to replace Ricardo Carvalho, who is expected to leave in the summer. The Portuguese was signed by José Mourinho in 2010, but has gone out of favour in recent seasons.
The 33-year-old will be allowed to leave the club in the summer after José Mourinho confirmed that he will be sitting and discussing his future following the end of the season. José Mourinho managed to win yet another league title in yet another different country this season. This is the 32nd league title for Real Madrid, but it is not expected to keep them dull in the transfer market. The club has spent £ 100 million in each of the last two transfer windows.
Thomas Vermaelen will be the person Arsene Wenger will look forward to given the defensive crisis that they have at the moment. The injury to full-back Andre Santos in the match against Olympiacos has provided them with the lack of fullbacks for at least a month.
The crucial Christmas fixture list will also determine a lot of positions at the end of the season, and this injury list could have left Arsenal with a lot of problems to deal with the end of the season. However, it seems that Thomas Vermaelen has stepped up to the plate after Arsene Wenger confirmed that the Belgian international will be used as the left back for three important matches.
Arsenal’s other full-back Kieran Gibbs is currently out with an injury, which will keep him out at least for the next 10 days or so. Hence, Thomas Vermaelen is going to deputise Kieran Gibbs and Andre Santos in the matches against Everton, Manchester City, and Aston Villa. These are highly crucial matches for Arsenal in both the context of the title race and also in their ability to finish within the Champions League qualification spots. Arsenal used their inexperienced defender Ignasi Miquel in the Champions League match against Olympiacos, but he is unlikely to play given the importance of these matches.
Thomas Vermaelen has played as the left back on a few occasions, but on each of them, he has been able to accommodate due to the fact that he had to just fill in for a few minutes. It remains to be seen if he can actually handle the pressure involved in handling the likes of Adam Johnson and Charles N’Zogbia in the upcoming weeks. Manchester City visit Arsenal on 18th December and they will be facing Aston Villa as part of the Christmas fixture list.