According to reports that have recently come to light, the medical staffs at Barcelona tried to stop the deal that saw Thomas Vermaelen join the Catalan club in the summer because of fears over his history of injuries. The former Arsenal captain joined Barcelona this summer for a fee that is expected to rise to £15 million. However, his five year stay at Arsenal was plagued by injuries a situation that was said to have prompted fears from the medics at Barcelona to express their misgivings over the deal.
Thomas Vermaelen only enjoyed an injury free season in his first year as an Arsenal player when he arrived from Ajax in a £10 million deal in the summer of 2009. After that he struggled with injuries, he sat out almost the entire 2010/2011 season with an Achilles issue that was later diagnosis to be an overgrown tendon in his Achilles. It meant corrective surgeries had to be carried out on both on his foot. After that he struggled to be the same player Arsenal signed, with his propensity to suffer various degree of niggling injuries. His last season at the club was a particular case in point, when he was always out injured despite struggling to break the partnership of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.
He arrived Barcelona carrying an injury he sustained while playing at the World Cup in Brazil in the summer. And he has yet to feature for the senior team at Barcelona, after the club started the season in good form.
With his injury record during his time at Arsenal, and the recent reports that the medics at the Catalan club were against his signing because of his injury record, it could be said that it was good bit of business that Arsenal allowed him to leave after all if this revelation is anything to go by. That the club was able to recoup £15 million is another thing altogether. This is not to doubt the quality of Thomas Vermaelen, and his stern fighting spirit when he was still at the club.
Yet, it is a bad turn of events that his ghost still looms large over the club despite the good bit that he was sold because he has not been replaced. Arsenal had almost a month of the transfer window to find a replacement for the 28 year old, yet no concrete effort was done to replace him despite various names of defenders in the hat during the summer that were linked to the club.
With the situation that the club is currently facing in defence, many would prefer to have an injured defender that would recover to take his place in the team in weeks, than no cover at all.