Thomas Vermaelen is no longer an Arsenal player. The Belgium international has joined Barcelona on a five-year deal for a reported transfer fee of £15 million (click here to read more).
The centre-back will go down in the Gunners’ history as one of their best players despite an underwhelming final season on a personal level at the Emirates Stadium.
The 28-year-old made the move from Dutch giants Ajax to Premier League outfit Arsenal in the summer of 2009 and quickly made himself a first-choice at the heart of the team’s defence.
Following the departure of Netherlands international striker Robin van Persie to Manchester United in the summer of 2012, Vermaelen was made the team’s captain by manager Arsene Wenger.
However, last season Vermaelen struggled with injuries and eventually lost his place in the starting line-up, although he did help his side win the FA Cup.
United were also interested in securing the signature of one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League when fit, but their advances were rebuffed by Arsenal.
It was then announced on Saturday that Vermaelen will join Barcelona from Arsenal, leading the club’s fans to take to social networking site Twitter to have their say on the departure of their captain.
Here is a selection of the 13-time English champions’ supporters’ tweets:
Wish you best of luck at Barcelona, Thomas. Thank you for all those years at Arsenal. Once a gunner, always a gunner! #goodluckthomas— • Angela Tsaturian (@i_Angela_) August 9, 2014
It was inevitable that Vermaelan was leaving so happy he chose to go to Barca over United. #GoodLuckThomas— Briella (@briellabush) August 10, 2014
How will Arsenal cope with the departure of Thomas Vermaelen?