Wenger Admits Uncertainty About Vermaelen – Why Gunners Captain Could Be Set For Exit

In a recent press conference, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted he is unsure if Thomas Vermaelen will be at the club for the new season. Sky Sports have linked the player with a move away from the Emirates Stadium.

Vermaelen is third-choice centre-back for the Gunners behind Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny, and will be looking for regular first team football. Potential suitors for the Belgium international’s signature include Manchester United, with Louis van Gaal keen to give him a fresh opportunity.  With arguably two of the most experienced defenders in the game in Ferdinand and Vidic having already departed, as well as Patrice Evra’s imminent move to Juventus, United’s defence is in some major need of reinforcement.

This transfer, however, may not happen anytime soon.  After van Gaal’s first meeting with the English media, he stated he will assess the current squad before making any further signings. This is good news for United’s youth graduates Michael Keane, Reece James and Tyler Blackett, who have all been selected for the club’s pre season tour. 
Speaking after Arsenal’s pre season friendly, Wenger said: “I cannot guarantee he [Vermaelen] will stay, but should he go I would bring another centre-back in for sure.” Having already lost Bacary Sagna to Manchester City, Arsenal are short of cover in the centre-back position. Arsene could move for Metersacker’s international team mate Mats Hummels, who has been heavily linked with a move away from Borussia Dortmund this summer. 
Looking at the current set of centre-backs available, Wenger should be a little more reluctant to let his captain go. Not only would this strengthen their rivals, similarly to when selling Robin van Persie was seen to have handed United the title, but it would also weaken Arsenal. Vermaelen, who is technically very good and strong in the air, could be harder to replace than the Gunners might think.

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