There would have been lingering worries in the back of Arsenal fan’s minds that he was ready to walk away from the Emirates Stadium, leaving the Arsenal back four considerably weaker.
Well worry not because the Belgian centre back has made it clear that he’s not going to abandon ship and while it was a frustrating season for Vermaelen, he’s ready to fight for his place.
“I’m happy at Arsenal. I didn’t play much and that was frustrating but things can turn around quickly. I was on the bench but I could just as quickly be playing again. I’m working hard to make that happen,” said Vermaelen in the Daily Star.
That will be a welcome boost to Arsene Wenger because the pressure is now slightly off him to push through the transfer of Swansea City captain Ashley Williams quickly.
The only way Vermaelen could now leave the club is if Wenger personally requests that he’s sold. However, he’d have to lose his marbles before he even contemplated that.
The only other way he might leave is if a club comes in with a ridiculous offer, which Arsenal simply can’t turn down.
Even then Vermaelen may show no desire to leave and Wenger may show no desire to sell but it’s where the board may come into the equation if the deal represents a fantastic piece of business.
Arsenal had one of the best defensive records in the Premier League last season which means for that to be maintained, the players responsible for that record also have to be kept.
There were weaknesses and areas which need to be improved but that’s where Wenger comes into his own, making clever and subtle signings which improve very specific areas of his team.
It’s also very significant in the respect that Vermaelen may feel as though he has a point to prove in terms of his captaincy.
A lot of people have started to question that role for him in the current Arsenal side because of the fact he wasn’t play consistently over the final part of the season.
He remains Arsenal’s skipper and it’s very important for the side to retain his leadership qualities because they would be badly missed both on and off the field if he was to leave.
The quotes will be more damaging to a team like Chelsea because it makes Barcelona, the club most strongly linked with Vermaelen, more likely to go after David Luiz, who has also been linked with a move to Spain.
That’s irrelevant for Arsenal though because Vermaelen’s commitment moves the problem on to another club.
Are you happy Vermaelen’s seemingly staying?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald