According to Thomas Vermaelen himself, he is set to become the latest acquisition to Arsenal Football Club. He is a no nonsense utility defender who has excellent heading ability. These are good times when Gooners get regular briefings from a player about the expected signing and medical. It tends to indicate that the player is very keen and that personal terms have been settled. So we can wait patiently for the news about Thomas Vermaelen to be officially confirmed I suppose. I have no inside track on this transfer, and I am going on the media sources only.
What is clear is that Arsenal may have decided that strengthening the defence is a priority which is good. Vermaelen is an excellent header of the ball and will provide us with better options at set pieces. People are moaning about his height. His stats have been quoted as between 5ft 11in and 6ft 1in depending upon your source. Tony Adams has said that as good as he is, Vermaelen is too short to provide what Arsenal need.
I would recall one player who proves that theory wrong. Tim Cahill of Everton was arguably the best header of the ball in the Premiership last season. The Aussie attacking midfielder stands at a diminuitive 5ft 10in and he terrorised many a defence. It is the technique of the header which counts over and above the height in my opinion as observers of Peter Crouch and Phillipe Senderos will hopefully agree.
His mobility suggests that he will be able to play alongside any of our existing centre backs, and probably alongside William Gallas which would provide some pace at the back. There remains controversy over which foot is his strongest. He is apparently naturally left footed but has developed his right foot when playing football. Will He be the first of two or three major signings of Arsene Wenger? Again we have to wait and see. But until then we will have to make do with these videos.
His stats are:
Born in Kapellen, Belgium November 14 1985, Age 23yr
Height 1. 80 m (5ft 11in) Weight 75 KG
Central defender/left back
Honours 2004 Dutch Eredivisie Winner
2006 and 2007 Johann Cruiff Shield Winner
He is a Belgian international, having made his debut On March 1, 2006 as central defender in the national team. alongside Vincent Kompany. From the videos it is clear that he enjoys scoring goals. It is suggested that he will have a three year contract taking him to 2012. If he is officially confirmed as an Arsenal player tomorrow then I look forward to seeing him playing in our pre-season Tournaments
Vermaelen videos below:
Thomas Vermaelen 1
Thomas Vermaelen 2