Arsenal are reportedly ready to dump one of their best defenders for a cut price fee of £5 million.
Several sources are suggesting Arsenal will sell Thomas Varmaelen for a cut price fee this summer, rather than start negotiations to keep the centre back at the club with a longer contract.
Vermaelen has had arguably his worst season at the club with inconsistency causing him to lose his place in the side, as well as three injuries which have also stopped him from playing.
All of that aside, he remains one of the best defenders at the club and it would be a bad move for Arsenal to let him go for a variety of reasons.
Many people seem to forget that at the moment, he is Arsenal’s captain and he is a valued leader both on and off the pitch.
His leadership skills have double benefits. He’s key at keeping the defence well drilled and organised during matches and he’s also important in terms of helping the younger players at the club develop.
Skills as a defender
Regardless of his frustrating season, he remains one of the best central defenders at the club.
He reads the game well, he’s fit, he’s strong and he times his tackles correctly. All of those skills make him a valued squad member when it comes to the defence and Arsenal are better with him than without him.
He’s only 27-years-old which suggests he’s going to play well into his 30s if he can get over his recent injury problems.
What that means for the club and Arsene Wenger is longevity. He can be the one constant as the team goes through various transformations, who helps each new defender settle into the back four and adapt.
He has ample experience of English football with Arsenal and is closing in on 50 caps for Belgium.
Experience is not something the club can just go out and replace easily. He knows what it takes to be effective for the Gunners in the Premier League, the domestic cups and the Champions League over long periods.
He may not have had his best season for the club, but he’s proven that he can be a versatile defender.
Wenger has used him at left back occasionally, which is not his best position but he’s played that role effectively. He will always give his best for the club wherever he’s asked to play and the fact he gives Wenger more options is a positive.
Be careful what you wish for Arsenal fans, because if he’s sold for £5 million, that can hardly be considered a good piece of business and the club will be weaker because of it.
Do you expect him to be at the club next season?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald