Reports yesterday suggested that Manchester United had reached an agreement in principle to sign defender Thomas Vermaelen from Arsenal.
A little bit of doubt and anger would have been created when fans watched Mats Hummels of Borussia Dortmund crack in a header for Germany against Portugal, prompting the question of why the Arsenal captain?
There are plenty of possible reasons for United’s interest and why Louis van Gaal appears to have commissioned a move for the centre-back.
Vermaelen is a player who has been in English football since 2009 whereas Hummels has no experience of playing in the Premier League.
Van Gaal seemingly wants to remove the notion of a settling in period, which is important as he needs to hit the ground running with United next season to get them in the pack of sides fighting for the Premier League title.
The Belgian is also a player with leadership qualities.
He only made 21 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners last season but he kept the captain’s armband and was presented as the natural leader any time he walked into the first team.
It’s naïve to suggest that Hummels doesn’t have leadership qualities because he definitely does, the difference being Vermaelen has greater experience as a captain and presents LvG with another benefit.
That benefit is that he can bypass any notion of upsetting one of Robin Van Persie or Wayne Rooney with a squabble over the captaincy next season.
It would be a risk and potentially an unpopular decision to make Vermaelen United captain before he’s even played a game, but he’ll be ready for that should LvG make that decision.
Vermaelen is also a player with a point to prove, which is something van Gaal could play on at Old Trafford.
Every week new clubs are linked with Hummels because of the reputation he’s created for himself in the Bundesliga.
The difference is Vermaelen has been questioned due to his lack of appearances for Arsenal and van Gaal has shown with RVP at the World Cup, he can turn players into different animals just by giving them a little belief.
Is it the signing fans want? Probably not, but it’s a signing that has potential to make United’s back four better than they were last season.