Could Vermaelen really be set to leave Arsenal?

There has been a lot of speculation surrounding Arsenal in terms of incoming players but not so much on any players going out of the Emirates. However to stir things up a little bit, rumours have heightened over the past few days that suitors for Thomas Vermaelen are beginning to build up.

The report that fellow London side West Ham United wanted to take the Belgian to Upton Park has already made it around the blocks after several media sites and national papers including the Daily Mail reported the rumours. West Ham manager Sam Allardyce was quick to point out that a move for the Arsenal defender on loan was an unlikely move, but it doesn’t mean that he won’t move away from the Gunners this January.

Vermaelen has had persistent rumours surrounding his future for the past few months after it was announced that he would consider plying his trade elsewhere if he didn’t break into the Arsenal first team on a regular basis. The Belgian who hopes to go to the World Cup in Brazil this summer with his national side is desperate for some playing time because he is wary of the strength of his defensive opposition. Vermaelen was quick to state that the words had been taken the wrong way and that he didn’t want to leave the Gunners, just attain more time on the pitch.

Not much has changed since then and although Vermaelen has obtained a few more appearances for the Gunners, he still isn’t a regular member of the starting eleven, instead often being placed on the bench. But the club captain seems to remain committed for the time being, despite the likes of Inter, West Ham, Napoli and even supposedly Barcelona interested in his services after a picture emerged with Catalan Carlos Puyol.

Personally I don’t think Vermaelen will leave Arsenal this January despite not getting the desired amount of minutes. Not only does this season hold his greatest chance of winning silverware with the club, but to do so as club captain, despite the minimal input, would be a fantastic achievement for Vermaelen himself. Furthermore it would be ridiculous for the club to sanction a move at such an important stage of the season. The Gunners need as much strength in depth possible and although he may not be as good as he used to be, I still think there’s quality that will definitely be helpful in our title challenge.

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