Quick links


Do Arsenal have a midfield general sat on the bench?

Could their Belgian captain Thomas Vermaelen move into holding midfield?

Arsenal are in need of reinforcements in their deep-lying midfield with Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini entering the back end of their respective careers.

However, they might have a natural occupant patiently sat with the substitutes awaiting his chance in the form of captain Thomas Vermaelen.

The Verminator seems born for a defensive central midfield role. Standing at 5’11, he is shorter than your average centre half although his positional play and reading of the game make up for it. These two attributes are crucial to playing the Makélélé with any real success.

On top of this, the World Cup bound Belgian excels in ball retention, tackles hard, is adjusted to the short-passing style Wenger’s teams typify, and also holds an astute eye for more direct passes further afield.

With the emergence of solid defensive duo Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny, Vermaelen has found first team opportunities difficult to come by. It is a strange situation as the stylish defender ranks as Arsenal club captain, and captains are typically one of the first names on the team sheet.

There are rumours that the player is considering his future with the North London club after making only fourteen appearances in the league last term. The departure of a player of such obvious talent, popular with players and fans alike, would provide an unwelcomed blow to Wenger’s seasonal plans. The solution, though, is plain to see - move him into midfield.

A trial, at least, would be appropriate, perhaps in the post-World Cup friendlies. Promise Thomas a new opportunity that might help the 28-year-old rediscover the stunning form of 09/10, rewarded with selection in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch