Will Vermaelen be the next star to leave Arsenal?

Thomas Vermaelen is being linked with a summer move to Spanish giants Barcelona.

Things just seem to be going from worse to worse for Arsenal with the news this morning that captain Thomas Vermaelen is on Barcelona’s shopping list.

One of the main criticisms of Arsene Wenger and the club in recent years is not doing enough to keep the club’s best players.

Vermaelen could seriously follow Cesc Fabregas and Alex Song to Barcelona, especially if the club don’t finish in fourth place at the end of the season.

Barcelona are not a side graced with out and out central defenders with the exception of ‘The Shark’ Carles Puyol.

Puyol recently signed a contract extension to his deal at the Nou Camp but there will be a time, perhaps this summer, where they need to plan ahead and try to compensate for his absence.

There are several reasons why Vermaelen could be their man. He’s been playing at a club that use a similar style to the Catalan side and he possesses the same core qualities of Puyol in the respect that he’s very aggressive and not afraid to get stuck in.

There is also the ongoing battle Eric Abidal is being forced to endure following a liver transplant in the spring of last year.

There is no guarantee that Abidal will ever be able to reach a sufficient level to play for Barcelona again which simply jacks up the pressure in the club to find a long term replacement.

Arsenal fans have been forced to watch their best players leave over the last few years and this news will be disappointing, especially if a deal goes through, because the club had started to make indications it wouldn’t happen again.

Arsenal have several key players all on long term contracts but this trend in selling on the club’s best players for profit is showing no signs of slowing down and Vermaelen could be next.

Who would deny him a move to the Spanish giants? Possibly the best club in the world, especially considering Arsenal’s current form.

Gunners fans, what do you think?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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