Barcelona ignored crucial advice in order to sign crocked Arsenal defender

Thomas Vermaelen Pre FA Cup Press Conference

Reports in Spain suggest that Barcelona ignored the advice of their medical staff in order to sign Thomas Vermaelen from Arsenal.

After missing out on the La Liga title to Atletico Madrid last season, Barcelona embarked on a huge overhaul of the entire club. Manager Gerardo Martino was replaced by Celta Vigo's Luis Enrique, whilst the likes of Victor Valdes, Pinto, Alex Song, Cesc Fabregas, Alexis Sanchez, Bojan and Cristian Tello were all allowed to leave the club, with Claudio Bravo, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Douglas, Jeremy Mathieu, Ivan Rakitic and Luis Suarez arriving as they looked to wrestle back top spot in Spanish football.

With six wins and one draw from the opening seven games of the La Liga campaign, Barcelona sit top of La Liga having not even conceded a goal yet. Lionel Messi looks to be evolving into a different kind of player, yet just as devastating, whilst Neymar continues to improve with Suarez set to return from his ban soon.

Yet one of their new signings is already being criticised heavily - Thomas Vermaelen. The Belgian international made his name at Arsenal, where he made 150 appearances and scored 15 goals after joining from Ajax in 2008. However, his time in North London will forever be tarnished by his repeated injuries.

The 28-year-old suffered a whole host of knocks and niggles, including to his achilles tendon, calf, back and hamstring, which led to Gunners boss Arsene Wenger settling on Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker as his first choice pairing at centre back, leaving Vermaelen on the sidelines even when he wasn't injured.

Wenger must have been counting his lucky stars this summer, when Barcelona inexplicably paid £15m to take Vermaelen to Spain, despite it being abundantly clear that the Belgian would either be permanently crocked or not good enough to truly improve their defence - and it has now emerged that the medical staff at the Camp Nou advised the club not to sign Vermaelen.

Vermaelen has yet to even play a competitive game for the club despite joining in August, and after Andoni Zubizarreta forced through the move, it's looking more and more like Arsenal got a great deal out of the Catalan giants.

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