West Ham boss rules out move for Arsenal captain

Vermaelen And Arsenal Celebrate

Thomas Vermaelen has been linked with a move to West Ham - and Sam Allardyce says he would welcome the Belgian.

Arsenal skipper Thomas Vermaelen has found himself in a difficult position ever since Per Mertesacker replaced him as Laurent Koscielny's first-choice partner at centre-back.

The Belgian has had to maintain the utmost professionalism and act as a leader and representative for the club off the pitch, while at the same time knowing that his position as captain has been rendered more or less worthless on the pitch.

Indeed, Vermaelen has made just seven appearances in the Premier League this season - with only three of them starts.

As such, it is no surprise that the 28-year-old has been linked with a move away from the Emirates Stadium. But what is a surprise is one of the clubs he has been linked to: West Ham.

And, despite playing down his chances of signing the Arsenal skipper, Hammers boss Sam Allardyce says it would be nice to add Vermaelen to his ranks!

"I don't think there's any chance we'll get someone of his quality - but it would be nice if we could," Big Sam told reporters.

"I think under the circumstances at Arsenal, with the situation they're in, with the Champions League and cup matches, they've had to use him as soon as any of the two defenders are injured.

"I'll keep going and hope we get some [new players].

"We had a terrible day [on Saturday] when we thought a player was going to sign for us and then I found out he wasn't, but there you go."

For his part, Vermaelen has regularly stated his desire to stay in north London, although reported interest from Barcelona could be of more interest to him than a move to Upton Park...

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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