Since moving to Barcelona, Belgian international Thomas Vermaelen has been unable to feature for the Spanish club. It has made him a target amongst the media especially after having cost around £ 15 million in transfer fees.
The defender had been keen to leave Arsenal for the last couple of years, but this move finally arrived in the form of a £ 15 million transfer. He was widely anticipated to be the replacement for Carlos Puyol, who had just retired after decades of service. Further, the uncertainty surrounding Gerard Pique also made the centre back position a highly vulnerable place for Barcelona.
A string of injury problems meant that Vermaelen has been unable to make a debut even after almost 6 months of being Barcelona player. He was widely expected to make his much anticipated debut towards the end of February. However, even this has evaded the Catalan club after it is learnt that the 29-year-old has suffered a new setback in his attempts to make his first start for the team. The plethora of injury problems is likely to be a major worry for Barcelona given that they have made a sizeable investment in the player. Last season, he made 21 appearances for Arsenal with most of them as a substitute.
This is the second major season where injuries have robbed him of making an impact. During the 2010-11 season, Vermaelen featured in only five matches throughout the whole campaign. This was the start of his injury troubles and also the decline of his Arsenal career. After this injury ravaged the campaign, Vermaelen saw his place in the Arsenal team being taken by Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker on a permanent basis. Despite being a captain, Vermaelen never made it to the field for many important matches for the Premier League outfit.