Ever since January there has been talk of Thomas Vermaelen’s future, with the Gunners’ options being discussed by publications all over Britain. As he is the captain of Arsenal, they can’t let him go to a rival club despite the fact that he was not favoured at all last season. If Arsenal were to sell, they would try to send him abroad. However, there is the argument that Vermaelen is good enough to play as back-up to Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker.
When you are captain of a football club, you would expect to play more often than just a few times a season if fit and available. The partnership between Koscielny and Mertesacker has been incredible though, with reluctance to change a winning formula possibly determining the Belgian’s future. However, the Gunners have lined up a replacement to accommodate the departure of Vermaelen, if it does happen. Dejan Lovren has been linked with a move to London, by the SabotageTimes, with Tottenham Hotspur also being credited with an interest in the Croatian defender.
When Vermaelen arrived at Arsenal in July 2009, he set the Premier League on fire with his goals and solid defensive displays. Arsenal fans thought Arsene Wenger had uncovered another gem. However, the Belgian’s career has declined after a string of high-profile mistakes that have cost Arsenal dearly. Lovren had a fantastic debut season for Southampton and was one of the reasons behind their high finish last campaign.
The Croatia international led the defence extremely well and his organisation was spot on. His side worked as a unit and he even influenced the team further up the pitch. He made sure that Morgan Schneiderlin, Jack Cork, James Ward-Prowse or Victor Wanyama were sticking to their defensive duties. Lovren is also at a good age at just 24-years-old, so if Arsenal were to get hold of him they would be able to enjoy his peak years.
The Croatian could be the perfect replacement for Arsenal’s departing star. A little part of me wouldn’t mind a fresh name at the Gunners.