Why would Barcelona want Vermaelen?

The Daily Mail claims today that Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen will be the subject of a bid from Barcelona this summer.

It’s a familiar narrative – the Catalan’s have pounced on Arsenal’s best players and captains for many years now. The likes of Thierry Henry, Emmanuel Petit, Marc Overmars, Alexander Hleb, Sylvinho, Alex Song, and of course, Cesc Fabregas.

Barcelona operate in the transfer market as if they believe themselves to be Arsenal’s parent club but reports and speculation over the future of the current Gunners’ skipper seem wide of the mark, in my humble opinion.

Firstly, why on Earth would Barcelona want Vermaelen? Based on his (let’s face it) dismal displays in the Arsenal backline this season, I can comprehend why he would be deemed attractive to any team, let alone the best team in La Liga.

His performance for Arsenal in his previous four seasons in the Premier League have been exceptional. Despite a couple of injury concerns, he was (key term) one of Arsene Wenger’s most reliable players. He was a leader and a dominant presence, something of an enforcer in Arsenal’s back four.

Then he was handed the armband from the departing Robin van Persie (who received the arm band from a departing Fabregas the previous term) and suddenly he forgot how to defend.

He has been, along with Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny, calamitous all season long. His goalkeeper Woijceich Szczesny has been driven to utter despair by his back line who have, for the most part, done little to protect him.

If Barcelona are intent on buying a defender from Arsenal, they’d be better off buying young Ignasi Miquel. He’s the only Arsenal defender who has been an offender this season due to the fact he hasn’t really played.

They say if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it and, by that logic, if it is broke, don’t buy it – why Barca would want Vermaelen after the season he’s had is beyond me.

I understand the narrative of Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona wouldn’t raise any eyebrows, in fact I’d be more surprised if the summer goes by without at least one Arsenal player being sold to either Barcelona or Manchester City but, I very much doubt that player will be Thomas Vermaelen.

images: © Ronnie Macdonald, © Ronnie Macdonald

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