FC Barcelona and Arsenal FC center back Thomas Vermaelen have agreed on a five-year deal that would send the Belgian to Camp Nou. Vermaelen has been with Arsenal for six years after coming over from Ajax in the Dutch Eredivisie League. He has worked his way up through the ranks to obtain the captain’s armband for both teams, and will probably take a backseat to the hearty line of succession for the captaincy with Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquests.
Vermaelen will be a strong and positive move for FC Barcelona since the defense for Barcelona is relatively weak compared to other teams in La Liga. FC Barcelona is full of world-class midfielders and attackers, but really lack on the defensive side of field. Gerard Pique, Dani Alves, Adriano, Martin Montoya, Marc Bartra and Jordi Alba are the defenders who are on the squad outside of Vermaelen. Now with Vermaelen, I see a definite upgrade that will allow Barcelona to compete with both teams out of Madrid.
There isn’t much competition at the center back position for Vermaelen, as he will will most likely start beside Pique on the left side. Last season, Barcelona played a 4-3-3 formation that starred Alves, Bartra, Pique and Adriano. This season will probably see Vermaelen take the place of Bartra, which will immediately give Barcelona a defensive presence. Along with Vermaelen’s strong defensive skills, Vermaelen is known to have an offensive side to him. Vermaelen can score from anywhere around the box and can be brought in on corners to head in goals.
After the signing of Luis Suarez, Barcelona has made another great signing that will allow steady competition throughout this season in La Liga.