Has Thomas Vermaelen proven a risk worth taking for Everton or Crystal Palace?

Thomas Vermaelen of FC Barcelona looks on  during a training session ahead of their UEFA Champions Leage round of 16 second leg match against Arsenal FC at Ciutat Esportiva on March 15,...

Everton and Crystal Palace are both in the market for defensive cover in the January transfer window.

Thomas Vermaelen of Barcelona speaks to teammate Gerard Pique during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Barcelona at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on December 23, 2017 in Madrid, Spain.

Everton and Crystal Palace will both be targetting a striker in the January transfer window, but central defensive cover will not be too far behind on their list of priorities.

Palace have been hit by injuries to Mamadou Sakho and Scott Dann, while the form of Michael Keane and Ashley Williams may be a concern to Toffees boss Sam Allardyce.

Barcelona’s Thomas Vermaelen could therefore be on the radar of both clubs once again.

Valencia's midfielder Carlos Soler (L) vies with Valencia's Barcelona's Dutch defender Thomas Vermaelen during the Spanish league football match Valencia CF and FC Barcelona at Mestalla...

As the Liverpool Echo reports, Everton made an offer to take the former Arsenal captain on a season-long loan in August, when ex-Eagles manager Frank de Boer was also taking a look.

Vermaelen has endured a horrible time with injury at the Camp Nou, making only 29 appearances for Barca since joining from Arsenal in 2014, but is now fighting fit and putting that behind him.

"I understand that people had doubts about my physical condition because in recent years I have had a few physical problems," he told Mundo Deportivo.

Thomas Vermaelen of Arsenal goes off injured during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at White Hart Lane on April 14, 2010 in London, England.

"But since November 2016 I have not had any more problems and I've been feeling good for a year. I know I have a reputation as a player made of glass, but I have managed to overcome that. Now I am demonstrating that I can be without injuries for a long time and I hope to keep it that way."

The Belgian international has started six of Barca’s last seven matches, proving that he can still operate at a high level, but will likely lose his place when Samuel Umtiti returns from the sidelines.

The 32-year-old does not appear to be the fitness gamble that he may have been 12 months ago, and would offer both Everton and Palace a great balance of culture and experience.

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch