Thomas Vermaelen purchase a signal of Wenger’s intent

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Thomas Vermaelen has joined ArsenalThomas Vermaelen is officially an Arsenal player.

The 23-year-old Belgian defender and former captain of Ajax has signed a long-term contract with our club for a fee worth just under £8.5 million (rising to around £10m). Arsenal announced the deal on their website on Friday afternoon (UK time) and have included a factfile of our new signing as well as a host of lovely “holding a shirt posing in front of various locations” photos.

The Arsenal website is due to post a detailed interview with Vermaelen tomorrow but they did post some brief comments from the player regarding his delight at signing for the club. In his own words he said:

“I’m just so happy to be joining Arsenal. This is a great Club with a world class manager, high quality players and a fantastic stadium. Everything is set up for Arsenal to be very successful for years to come and I joined this Club because I know Arsenal will be challenging for trophies.

“I have had a good taste of the Champions League during my time with Ajax and this is something I am looking forward to experiencing again with Arsenal. I’m also looking forward to playing in the English Premier League, which for me, is the best league in the world. Also, I just want to assure the Arsenal fans that I will give everything for this Club and I hope we can enjoy winning some trophies together next season.”

Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger made the following statements about our new signing:

“Thomas is a great signing for Arsenal Football Club, and we are all delighted that he is joining us. Thomas is a solid performer with good experience of Champions League and UEFA Cup football and is also a regular with the Belgium national team.

“Thomas is primarily a left-footed centre back, but he’s multi-functional and can also play at left back. He is strong technically with a positive winner’s attitude and I have no doubt his arrival will strengthen our team. Thomas Vermaelen will be a huge asset to Arsenal.”

I think it’s a very good signing for the club. Wenger has addressed one of the significant weaknesses in the side and, not only that, he’s done it early in the transfer window. By doing so the manager will give Vermaelen every chance of being settled in and completely ready to go by the time the season kicks off, something that cannot be said of many of our recent signings. Having the signing all wrapped up also gives the manager ample time to sign another one or two players before the season starts and I think that bodes very well for next season’s squad.

The fact that he is left-footed will give the centre of our defence some much needed balance and his position as captain of his previous club suggests he is a man who knows how to communicate well and direct things from the back. Plus, he looks damn sharp in a suit and even resembles this man just a bit. It goes without saying that if he plays anywhere near as well then he’s going to a huge success at Arsenal.

It remains to be seen what sort of impact Vermaelen’s signing will have on the other defenders in our squad, but that’s something I’ll touch on a little bit in Monday’s post. For now though, it’s all about our new boy.

Have a lovely Saturday. I’ll be back tomorrow to post Vermaelen’s interview video if nothing else.

Have your say on Arsenal’s new signing Thomas Vermaelen by leaving a comment

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66 thoughts on “Thomas Vermaelen purchase a signal of Wenger’s intent

  1. Well what about his other signings last sesson.ramsey,nasri,etc.
    i hope we don’t have to listen to the crap that it is another transition season.

  2. @ jamie – What’s with the negativity? Nasri did well last season, was one of our best players. Vermaelen is a signing in an area of the pitch that we badly needed reinforcements – what’s the problem?

  3. Here’s a thought though, when was the last time Wenger spent so much on a centre-back, and so early in the transfer season? Petit is the name that springs to mind. Maybe Arsene has different plans for Tom.

  4. I will only see this siging as ‘strengthening’ or ‘addition’if we don’t sell a formidable defender. This has been the tend. others by to add to their strength, we tend to but so as to release a try and tested resource. Time will tell.

  5. Can we just consider this a good thing. Very rarely does Arséne sign players this early on in the transfer window. It gives him plenty of time in the pre-season to gel with his teammates and gives the manager the most amount of time to select his best centre-half partner. As for this being season/s to late. Just get over it. It’s in the past just focus on now. What did we have at this stage last year that we don’t this time?

  6. well okay we have new centre back nothing special but good to know wenger is spending early not like last time minutes before transfer window but we need hight at the back sad to say vermaelen aint tall so arsenal should sign Per Mertesacker who is fucking tall 6.6 he would be like a fucking lamp post like to see vidic out jump mertesacker we need to sell two centre backs sad to say but gallas needs to go he aint getting younger we need to cash in reported 4 million not bad for a 32 year old. give senderos part exchange for melo plus 7 million kill two birds with one stone send mikel silvestre aka peanut head to a nursing home what was wenger thinking my grand dad god rest his sole would tackel better then him if he knew we had a gay ex gay man player in the red and white shirt he would be spining in his grave

  7. i agree naldo or per mertesacker maybe even christoph metzelder all powerful defenders and metzelder being part of the madrid exodus could be brought in for 5 mil?
    mertesacker because he is exected to be injusred for 1-2 more months would be undervalued at around 8.5 to 10? naldo will cost more though i agree though vermaeleen can only b positive. would love to see melo in an arsenal shirt been watching him since january links to him :L 😀

  8. Yeah whats up with the negativity, the sooner we get signings the easier for us to get them in pre season.

  9. Mertsacker might be tall but he’s as slow as my gran, Arsenal defend so far up the pitch that he’d be caught out all the time. As for Naldo brilliant on football manager but in real life? I think Vermaelen is a good signing, he’s good in the air and quick on the ground, I wish people would stop going on about height, it’s positioning and determination that makes a good Center back, Carrager not that tall but you don;t hear Liverpool fans complaining that he’s too short

  10. I’m happy for us.yet,i’ll not put my smart money on him to be succesful in a league like Epl.i’l just keep scratching my head 4 now

  11. I for one am very pleased that we have got our man. He is a proven international and will fit in to the arsenal defence well. I’m only 5’8″ so 6ft is massive for me. I do hope we go for Felipe Melo de Carvalho after all he made his debut for Brazil at the Emirates.

  12. Does anyone know if he has been given a number yet? If he gets 6 then that’s Senderos gone.

  13. LOL.. He does look like Vidic. I only hope he plays even better. Looking good as the VERMINATOR!!!
    Let’s see more signings too before the window closes, I would personally love to see Wenger sign Melo, Chamakh and Hangelaand. And no sale even of Ade and Eboue as we need all our squad players.

  14. @ Fat Mike – I rate Naldo. Of all the defenders out there who are reasonably priced he’d be my top pick. 6’5, dangerous on attacking set-pieces and dominating in defensive ones. Can play a bit, too 🙂

  15. It’s great great news and, as you said, especially as we got him early so time to get him primed. I see one or two have coined him ‘The Verminator’ it’s good – no doubt oppo fans will just call him vermin! But you know, I’m hoping he’s tough as a tank and will be the engine that drives the rest of the team so I’ll call him ‘Thomas The Tank Engine’!!

  16. Thomas is a decent signing for us. I would love if Bassong, Melo and probably Huntelaar will sign for us. And why don’t Arsene bang Diaby and Silvestre

  17. Thomas is a decent signing for us. I would love if Bassong, Melo and probably Huntelaar join him. And why don’t Arsene bang Diaby and Silvestre

  18. i’m so happy why thomas vermaelen who is the best player of ajax joining to the best club of the world arsenal.it’s agood step for him and for arsenal.but any other player of arsenal can not be released from arsenal becase the squad must be expand.for now thank you……i am from mekelle ethiopia
    i like arsenal very much
    ARSENAL FOREVER

  19. Thanks, Spanish.
    Goal.com has an assessment of our new signing from correspondents, including Dutch ones, which is mainly negative. I have to say I love it when I read things like that because a) – if I was in his position I’d be rolling up my sleeves saying ‘Right you f***ers let’s prove you wrong and b) how many times has AW signed someone and everyone’s ‘who the f**k’s that?’ and he turns out to be gold.
    ‘Rock on, Tommy!’

  20. Anyone can spout out names all they want, but lets be honest guys, unless you are a fan of that club, you are going off FM, FIFA and name reputation, and the occasionsl match where you may have noticed them win a header and think “Oh, we need somebody to do that” without thinking “Oh, I have seen Gallas and Toure win hundreds of headers”

    How can it be a season too late? We do not have the funds to splash out in any transfer window, so why would we be able to sign Nasri, Arshavin and a 10mil center back in one summer?

    I think he will be our only summer signing unless Adebayor goes and we would therefore need a striker, and we should be better equipped for next season. I think the talk of a Defensive Midfielder really should stop, Wenger is not even considering it in my view.

  21. No, I beg to differ, Tom14. AW himself made a fairly oblique comment about needing a couple of players a short while ago and he never says a word out of place. He’s also said our defence needs sorting so I’m pretty sure he will make another signing and that signing will be a defensive mid. Yes, all this second guessing about Ya Ya Toure and Cana etc. is pie-in-the-sky but ‘the kids’ seem to enjoy it so why spoil their fun. Meantime AW and the recruitment team will probably be deep in secret negotiations even as we speak, plying them with croissants and coffee and pushing a contract in their direction – and it will be someone who we never even thought of.

  22. So who would he sign who is truly better than Denilson for hardly any money? Because I find it hard to believe that there are better players out there than Denilson for less than 10mil, which cannot be recovered with the sale of Diaby.

    I don’t want another Denilson debate, we have done it before on here, but he is much more deserving of his place than many in this squad.

  23. Why dont Arsene try to partner up Vermaelen and Djourou? Whats happening to Djourou anyways? He’s tall. But Brede Hangelaand is better. Chamakh is useless, he can run and is good in the air. The prototype of ronaldo but his body balance is not as high as Ronaldo’s. Maybe 2-3 years time he should be all right. But hes not what we need right now. Yes, we need Felipe Melo and Arsene’s lost his sight on Gokhan Inler already? Gokhan is a descent player tho. Anyways, Hope Arsenal will rule the 09-10 season.

    Bruneian Arsenal For Life Community

  24. “Why dont Arsene try to partner up Vermaelen and Djourou?” – because Gallas is World Class and Djourou is currently a puppy dog.

  25. Considering he has not been given a number, it seems certain that either Toure or Gallas will be sold. because we know that he would not be taking the number 10 off Gallas 😀

  26. I agree with SF.im very happy with our new signing.I believe things will be different nxt season.

  27. Great signing.nice to see we go to O.T early in the season, hopelly absent will be the ever persistent injuries that seem to afflict us when we meet the bastards.i hope we give the Toffees a real kicking to send our statement of intent from day one!

  28. Another good signing like this will settle Arsenal’s problems for the rest of the comming season. On the other hand the club MUST not loose any old hands that had been in the previous term.
    Hopefully all weak position will be attended to as beautifully as this one. Exellent work and keep it up.

  29. lets see what the guy is like before we start saying he’s not tall enough and all that. i agree with sf here and am very pleased that we’ve got a signing this early in the summer, i’m also hoping for more early buisness. one dm and no one leaving.

  30. i hope we will keep on signing more….every body knows that we need atleast 3 peoples to chalenge next season’s trophy!!

  31. I’m amazed at the negativity. The bloke was captain of his club, and is an established international with euro experience. OK, playing for Belgium isn’t quite as impressive as playing for Brazil, and being captain of Ajax isn’t the same as being captain of Barca, but come lads, the boss has strengthened at the back which we needed. There are still too many people who think we’re gonna be bidding with Real and Man City for the £30M+ boys. Get your heads round it- it ain’t gonna happen. This lad seems to fit the bill as far as I’m concerned. I’m in the 5’8″ club too, so 6′ is good enough for me. Let’s give the lad a chance.

  32. Good to see we’ve signed a defender after how long! Agree with a previous comment though that it’s only really a strengthening if we don’t sell the CBs he’ll be competing with for a place.

    Seems like a no-nonsense guy who gets down to business though. That’s a great thing in my book.

  33. Ok, shockingly enough some people are still negative! We have signed a good defender, a player we were all screaming for!! and now we get him, and people still arent happy. I have the feeling if we signed David Villa, Giorgio Chiellini, Mathieu Flamini and Iker Casillas, people would stil be unhappy. I for one and very happy about this purchase, another option in defence and a leader and overall good, young and experienced player.

  34. I think people are reading a lot into Vermaelen not having a number. Arsenal don’t assign squad numbers until pre-season starts, so why would they meed to give him a number straight away?

  35. Just to re-stir the transfer pot…

    Apparently PSG are making a bid for Eboue. Eboue, for his part, says he knows nothing about it.

    If it’s true, could it be part of a swap deal for Sakho? Maybe clearing space for a DM arrival?

    It’ll be interesting to see if this is an accurate report and what move(s) it triggers from AW and Gazidis.

  36. @ Fatboy : no, Belgium is not quite as impressive as Brazil or England. But we have a bunch of talents arriving last years. Kompany and Vermaelen in defence is luxury. Mark my words Belgium will have a fabulous team in 3 years time. Anyhow, you shouldn`t be worrying about Vermaelen. He`s a SUPERB defender, and moreover his passing skills and intelligence are very good. Guess he deserves a better welcome than this from you ‘fans’

  37. That is absolutely good and it is something we’ve been looking forward to. But it does not call for Toure’s departure, as this will leave us short of experience defenders.

  38. Ooh my god!! thanx 4 the singning but lets see if it will make a deference at the defence!.

  39. Personally I think Vermaelen is an excellent signing, now we need to reduce the wage bill so I guess that means selling Toure to Man. City, he’s been a very good player for us and I’ll be sad to see him leave but I think the time is right, if we can get £8/£10 million from city that will be a good deal. If Gallas stays we can also afford to off load Sylvestre. Don’t know what we can get for him, is there a scrappage scheme for old footballers?

    Once the Confederations Cup is over I think we’ll make a strong bid for Philipe Melo, at which point Diaby can be released along with Adebayor in order to make room for a new striker.

    I expect Gibbs to make it into the full England team this coming season and to be in England’s world Cup squad in South Africa.

  40. Things certainly got more positive regarding Vermaelen as the day wore on. The general feeling I get is that people are happy we’ve signed what looks to be a good defender and also happy that we’ve done it so early in the transfer window.

    Nice comments guys, it’s clear we’re all avoiding being deluded (“Oh my God! Vermaelen’s going to be the best in the world!”) but at the same time quietly confident about the signing.

  41. Will be interesting to see what happens with Kolo/ Gallas. One will be gone I thin but idn who will replace… Now give me Felipe Melo and a striker (if Ade goes.- which i think is the right choice…) and we are set.

    In other news- David Villa’s goal vs South Africa was a thing of absolute beauty We need someone this clinical up front if we are to compete…

  42. i really hope arsene wenger will try to put the right man in the right place. no need to do such a bad experiment ever again. last season failure was partly wenger fault. cause he likes to rotate his player to many different posisition which is not making his player feel comfortable and can not give their best. just buy some back up and no need experiment. we want trophy. Arsenal rules

  43. Get rid of Silvestre & Gallas and pair Djorou and or Toure if he,s staying with Vermaelen.Clichy and Sagna at right and left back are fine with Rosicky and Nasri in front of them in midfield .Gibbs and Traore with Senderos are in reserve ,when injuries occur.

  44. I partly agree, scrap silvestre and gallas, i dont care where silvestre goes but send gallas off to PSG along with about10 mill for mamadou sakho -19 who holds massive potential, i know we want experience, but arent u glad we bort fabregas when he was young.
    also it looks like we may unfortunately lose toure, in that case a trade for micah richards could be an alternative to the sakho situation i mentioned.
    as for senderos send him on his way to fiorentina to help us get Melo to protect are centrebacks. Traore – lol

  45. Herd he’s after the number 6 shirt thats why he hasnt been given a squad number yet. c ya later senderosss.

  46. as a gooner from the u.s., i think we all need to back off for a sec. wenger has been one of the best for a while, including the invincibles of not too long ago. this signing does seem to address a weakness. we have plenty of mids/forwards, and do not forget, arsene can develop strikers when he needs to, Henry anyone? wing to striker from Monaco to Arsenal. be patient. finishing top four for this many years is an accomplishment, and i have total confidence in the boss. he does things the right way, maybe not the right now way, but the right way.
    peace,
    rj

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