Spanish press criticise Thomas Vermaelen's performance v Manchester United

Thomas Vermaelen Pre FA Cup Press Conference

The former Arsenal captain at least made it onto the pitch...

Thomas Vermaelen was in action for Barcelona at the weekend - but ended up on the losing side against Manchester United.

The former Arsenal captain has had a woeful first 12 months personally since joining, making only one competitive start due to injury. This disappointment was offset however by his side winning the treble, but it would be a stretch to claim he was really a part of it.

He was fit enough to play in the US friendly against Unied, but it did not end well.

Spanish newspaper Marca ran a headline titled 'Vermaelen fails to convince', expressing worry over his performance.

The article stated: "Thomas Vermaelen's lack of sharpness was laid bare against Manchester United, a match in which he started. As well as being given a tough test defensively during his hour on the pitch, the Belgian also looked jittery when bringing the ball out from the back."

Manchester United won the game 3-1, but in Vermaelen's defence, no Barcelona players came out of the match with any credit, except for goalscorer Rafinha, whose impressive volley beat David de Gea.

Vermaelen's issue was even addressed by Marca, it's a lack of sharpness which is causing him trouble. He has barely played for a year and was not even fit enough to do any pre-season training a year ago.

The Mail reported last summer that Manchester United were even keen to sign the centre-back from Arsenal, only for the Gunners to prefer to sell him to a club outside the Premier League.

It's unlikely this is a decision United will be disappointed about given the way his injury issues have sidelined him, and at the weekend he did nothing to change that narrative. Crucially however for the Belgian, in 12 months time after what he will hope to be a full season, will it be a fairer time to judge him.

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