Vermaelen to Arsenal speculation seems legitimate

Well, I may have said “Farewell!” on Friday but here I’m back again on Monday with some very intriguing transfer news.

There were reports floating around last week that Arsenal had agreed a deal for Ajax central defender and captain Thomas Vermaelen, with £11 the apparent fee. And while I initially wrote the news off as nothing more than the usual transfer garbage that pollutes the summer break, some comments from Vermaelen in Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad indicates there could be some truth to the speculation. He said:

“In the coming days there will be more talks. Moving to Arsenal is the right path for me. It is a great sporting challenge and I will also be financially better off. I think everything is going to be okay.”

I have to admit that I know very little about the Belgian aside from the fact that he is the Ajax captain and a fairly decent centre-half. A lot has been made about his apparent lack of size – according to Wikipedia he’s only 5’11 – but for all we know Arsene Wenger might see Vermaelen as a defensive midfielder and I don’t think it would be smart to judge before he signs. If he signs, of course.

Other speculation over the course of the weekend saw Udinese centre-back Cristian Zapata linked with a move while Emmanuel Adebayor’s agent once again indicated that he might be on his way if AC Milan come in with a decent offer. 

And that’s it really. Just before I go I want to say congratulations to the Australian national team for qualifying for the 2010 World Cup. I can’t wait to watch our boys play at the highest level again and the early qualification means I’m seriously considering planning a trip to South Africa. I’ll let you all know how it goes, because if I do get over there I’ll most likely blog about it.

Bye for now. Until when, you ask? I couldn’t tell you now.

Have your say on the Vermaelen to Arsenal speculation by leaving a comment.



  1. Dont know much about Vermaelen. but he’s the captain of Ajax (a team thats known for breeding superstars) so he must be good.

  2. … and the size issue. Size is not everything, theres a lot of short players who are strong and good in the air.

  3. Ajax only finished third and let in 41 goals this season *sigh*. He seems a bit on the young side too.

    I just hope that if we sign him we KEEP the rest of our defenders! Bringing him in doesn’t mean Kolo can leave. A one-in one-out policy will not strengthen our defence.

  4. Ajax are not what they once were. This isn’t to pre-judge Vermaelen as all indications are that he is exactly the sort of battling defensive player the club has been crying out for. I’m merely observing that this will be a massive step up from the Dutch league in which his side finished third behind AZ Alkmaar and FC Twente. Ajax haven’t been a European force for quite some time now.

    However, being captain of Ajax is still a job that carries prestige and at age 23, having the leadership qualities we require stands him in good stead for a career at Arsenal.

  5. @ TDP – Eduardo, Nasri and Arshavin have all stepped up from lower leagues in the past couple of years. If Vermaelen comes in I’m sure he’ll be good enough to make the step that many other players in the past have.

  6. I don`t think we can judge him until he joins(if he does at all!), except of course someone out there has been watching the Dutch league (and Ajax in particular)!
    And the talk about him notbeing good cos Ajax finished third…he is only one player in a team of 11!!Even Messi (and his team) would struggle in a team of mediocres! So i don`t think we can make a judgment call on how good he is based on that.

  7. We have to develope the metallity of building a great team like in the past ,take for instance in the beginning of this past season as soon as Fabragas got injured the standard of the team dropped cosiderably,though he is a key to the team we should have had someone to replace him,which I think is not a good idea.

  8. I don’t think 23 is too young. We all moaned about Silvestre being too old and passed it, didn’t we? ajax may not be the force of old, but if the lad’s the captain, he ticks most of the boxes for me. At least it shows AW is looking to strengthen in the areas we all agreed he needs to.

    @ SF – I’m looking to book a trip to South Africa as well- it’d be great to catch up with you for a beer or 6…

  9. I do believe Vermaelen will be an Arsenal player in the coming weeks, the deal is claimed to be completed by every source except BBC and Arsenal. I dont know what to make of him, I dont know much about him, he is small, he is only 23. And Ajax is a club that makes superstars so not all bad. However I have read that the signing of Vermaelen will cover for the loss of toure who is going to Man City??

  10. wel at least wer active in the market early this year….no1 has seen much of the guy so lets just wait and see,height isnt an issue once hes a gritty commited player who wil attack the ball…agree we shudnt loose kolo either who is an integral part of the team and a player who genuinely cares about the club…heard we were linked wit italy and juve centre half chiellini who is an outstanding prospect is dr any truth in it…hed be amazing for us

  11. @Spanish

    That is a very good point Spanish, but I was just highlighting that the Premiership will be a step up for him from the Dutch league, not that he won’t be capable of making that step up.

  12. If some of you think that hheight is not a problem thedn you are sadly mistaken, If we do not have a tall comanding defender to win challenges in the area then we will be in thed same position as we are now. Everton. Man Utd,Liverpool and Chelsea all have tall defenders who can comand their area, is it any wonder that their have better defensive records than we have? No of course not, many players in the Premiership are six foot and over which is why we can’t defend a two goal lead with four minutes to go.We are playing with a height disadvantage against most teams.

  13. I remember a few yrs back the national “duncking”champ in kenya(u jump and slam the basket ball into the basket for the uninitiated)was a guy less than 6 feet!in a game where being 6″4 is considered short!but the guy had springs for legs!height is not an issue,the issue is your jumping power,physicality and willingness to attack the ball all of which apparently vermaulen has and toure and gallas lack!

  14. @ Andrew – Someone must have altered Wiki. Either they’re a Gunners fan trying to make us feel better or the info wasn’t right to begin with. It was definitely 5’11 when I checked it but 6’1 is much better 🙂

  15. Check this out sol campbell is 6’2,tony adams 6’3 and thomas vermaelen 6’1.can someone tell me 2 or 3 inches will make the difference between dominating the aerial balls and letting in goals?…oh and thomas could outjump the two at their peak!

  16. Not worried about his height at all. It does seem this deal is a goer though, which would be a great start to the transfer window.

  17. So there you have it then, he’s 6ft1, now people can stop complaining about his size.

  18. I have a feeling that this signing wont be a done deal untill August. and i also think itll be our only signing for the summer. I hope im wrong.

  19. @ Gibbs – You’re probably right about the first bit. Perhaps correct about the second bit. There’s quite a lot of talk about Nasri playing as the holding midfielder, that might be Wenger’s answer.

  20. top blog sf,enjoy your break, was a bit suprised we didnt go in for gareth barry and cant say i know too much about this vermaelen dude and tend not to believe the signing till i see him holding up the arsenal shirt next to wenger, i also get the feeling we will only make one signing before the new season starts.

  21. @ georgetown gooner – We inquired about Barry but with City offering the wages they did, Arsenal nor Liverpool stood a chance, also is Vermaelen 5ft 11 or 6ft 1? I am confused, Would be a real good signing if he is the latter. If not, im still pretty happy about the signing because it shows Wenger knows what we need.

    @ Gibbs – I think the deal could be done within the next 2 weeks, its just the small things that need finalising, and I hope it isnt our only transfer of the summer either.

    Finally, a bit of Arsenal good news aswell, England U21 played Azerbajin U21 and won 7-0, Gibbs played 90 mins at Left Back and grabbed 2 goals, after the England senior team play Andorra, Walcott will join the England U21s in the U21-European Championships in Sweden. Both Gibbs and Walcott will represent England there and I feel both will start all the games and be in the action all the time. Dont know who else is playing from Arsenal, if any. But well done Gibbs for scoring 2.

  22. @ Fatboy – Sounds good man. If I get over there I’d love to have a beer and meet up with any Arsenal FC Bloggers that turn up.

  23. I honestly believe there will be a sale if Vermaelen comes in and I think Wenger may be looking at Kolo going to City, their interest was genuine in January and I doubt it has diminished. It would be a sad day, I love Kolo and he played his heart out for Arsenal but I just have this hunch that if Wenger gets the fee he wants the sale will be made. Sadly balancing the books is still a way of life at the Emirates for the forseeable future.

  24. Vermaelen deal is a good one though i would have preferred zapata.but still ajax has always been the best in holland to make great players. so bringing in their captain is a good idea.
    Have u heard, suddenly milan are ahead of us in the Dzeko deal! i don’t understand, they were after Adebayor. And if we can’t bring Dzeko and ade goes, who do u think we should bring? As it seems Eboue and Sanderos may also be sold and then we will have at least 30m from these 2 and Ade. I think we should go for Benzema. what about you?

  25. @ gunning4eva – Milan are likely “ahead of us” for Dzeko because they just sold Kaka for a world record price. We don’t have that kind of money to throw around and in this modern world, money talks!

  26. Well hopefully milan come in and give us 30 mill for ade and the rumour is ricards and tourre wil swap as hughes hates his atitude plus he is an arsenal fan whereas barry is a money fan. Would still like us to get alonso and keep fab happy and just goes to show how good gibbs is eh so I’m glad everyone got behind him after his slip.

  27. Could someone pliz confirm or clear up this, wasnt micah richards on fire playin at RB?and didnt his form dip when he moved to the centre?as for toure moving i think he wants to prompt wenger to sell gallas seeing he is 4 yrs older and at the twillight of his top flight career.

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