Arsenal FC defender Thomas Vermaelen has insisted that he is happy to stay at the club, despite having limited first team action.
The Belgium international made a rare start against Manchester United this weekend after Per Mertesacker was rested due to illness. It was Vermaelen’s first start this season and despite Arsenal losing the game, the 27-year-old gave a fairly assured performance at the back alongside Laurent Koscielny. But Vermaelen is unlikely to retain his place in the side and will have to make way for the German international after the international break.
Thomas Vermaelen lost his place in the starting eleven after his poor performances last season. Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny have become Arsene Wenger’s first choice central defensive pairing since their victory against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena and it looks unlikely that Vermaelen will break into the side any time soon considering the wonderful partnership that Koscielny and Mertesacker have developed.
Reports suggest that a lot of clubs are monitoring his situation at the London club. Vermaelen will need regular first team action in order to retain his place in the Belgium side, where the likes of Vertonghen, van Buyten, Toby Alderweireld and Nicolas Lombaerts are pushing for a place in the starting eleven. With the World Cup looming large in the horizon, Vermaelen could look for a move away from Emirates. In fact the defender has been earlier expressed his concern regarding the lack of first team action at Arsenal and has hinted at a possible move in January.
Recent reports from Italy suggested that Inter are looking to provide him with an escape route in the winter transfer window. The Italian club, backed by their new owner Erick Thohir are expected to spend in January and Vermaelen is at the top of their priority list. The Italian side are even pondering a loan move for the defender as Arsenal won’t be too keen to sell him permanently. Vermaelen is the only back-up they have for Mertesacker and Koscielny and if the Belgium international is sold, they could be left short at the back in case of injuries or suspension.
Thomas Vermaelen has now revealed in an interview his desire to stay at the club and fight for his place. He has dismissed reports of him looking to leave the club and has said that it is more important to consider what is good for his side rather than his personal goals. Vermaelen was asked about his future at the club and whether he will extend his contract which expires in 2015.
“Yes. At the moment there is no story. I’m not talking about it. It’s now November but any moment things can happen. If they do, I’m ready and I’m not thinking about anything else.
“I can keep talking about my situation. I’ve done that with the national team and I keep on reading stories that I want to leave. But that’s not the case. I’m still focused on the team at the moment and that’s what I want to do. I’m always positive. What I have said is that it is not about my situation but what the team does and I’m really happy that we’re top of the League. Personally I’m still confident I can play for this club and every chance I get I will do the job for this club.” – The Arsenal defender said.
The center-back also insisted that he was mentally prepared for the big game at Old Trafford despite being informed about his inclusion in the starting line-up only hours before kick-off.
“It wasn’t hard. I go into every game ready to play. I always make sure I’m mentally ready and physically ready to play, so it wasn’t difficult. I knew it could happen at any moment so I’m always ready. I’ve been saying it for weeks and months and all of a sudden it happened.” – He added.