Arsenal Edge Closer To Vermaelen

By cerbera

Arsenal and Ajax have agreed a fee for Thomas Vermaelen said to be in the region of around £10,000,000 and as such Arsenal have been given permission by Ajax to hold talks with Thomas Vermaelen and his agent, Sören Lerby. It is believed that Vermaelen rejected Arsenal’s first contract offer but Lerby claims that talks will continue throughout the course of the week. 

Lerby in Dutch sports magazine Sportweek states:

“We’re in talks with Arsenal at the moment.”

“There’s nothing strange going on. We’re continuing conversation with Arsenal this week. Thomas is open for the transfer, of course”

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  1. GoonerDave

    June 7, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    I must be honest and say that up to recently, I had barely heard of this player. As a few friends of mine live and work in Amsterdam, and get to quite a few games, I was online yesterday, asking them all about him!
    The general feeling was that he has definately got the ability, but needs a bit of polishing. A big talking point was the transfer fee, which was deemed expensive.
    I didnt know the guy was so versatile though – he is a CD, but can play full back or DM also.
    The only real worry I have is that Gallas or Toure is leaving, and we are throwing a 23 year old with no prem experience in at the deep end, though hopefully this wont happen. I suppose Arsene could be looking at a midfield role for him, but its unlikely I think.
    By all accounts though he is a good defender and an organiser and a leader, with a great work-ethic. So that has to be a good thing I suppose!

  2. arsenlogger

    June 7, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    I know for a fact that we have signed this guy. All it needs is for the banks to open on Monday and the deal will be done. The new Arsenal number six. Rejoice because we are not Kerry Katona

  3. cerbera

    June 7, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Who’s Kerry Katona? lol

  4. ClockEndofTimes

    June 7, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    If we want to push on and win trophies or be sure to retain the crucial champions league place, we have got to bring in the best available defender. Everyone is in agreement that we require a player who is aggressive in closing down opponents and cutting out the first ball, especially in the air (see Keane, see Drogba). In short, more of a stopper-type CB..

    I don’t think anyone is claiming that Vermaelen is more accomplished or more highly rated than Cristian Zapata (Udinese), Dmytro Chygrynskiy (Shaktar Donetsk), Bruno Alves (Porto)…

    If Vermaelen’s arrival were followed by one of the above or perhaps an England CB like Lescott or Upson, then we could be confident with options for next season.

    But the fee indicates that this will be the main arrival. And knowing that Toure and Song will depart mid-season for the ANC and that either Gallas or Toure is on their way out of the club this summer, we cannot simply replace either of those experienced players with Vermaelen, who despite his jumping ability, is rather small and has exactly set world football alight at Ajax.

    The likes of a Bruno Alves or Cristian Zapata is still required…

  5. Simon

    June 7, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    Oh must be a done deal then, Arsenlogger says so. Until its confirmed on or Ajax website its not done!

  6. steve far

    June 7, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    You’re listening to tabloids too much. gallas and toure arent leaving. this guy comes to replace most probably senderos or even silvestre.

  7. GoonerALADyce

    June 7, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    Av not heared about this guy before but he looks rough like nemanja vidic u know.,

  8. GoonerDave

    June 7, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Well, the story is all over Amsterdam too apparently, but that could be the British reports just as easily.
    And also, despite his height, he seems to be excellent in the air, though thats according to my friends, who are probably full of Amstel every time they watch him! Height is irrelevant anyway, Carvalho isnt the tallest, yet few players beat him aerially, Tim Cahill scores lots of headers against larger defenders. Tall defenders are also often slower, and that wouldnt suit our game of pushing forward and running back.
    Interestingly, Miles Palmer even acknowledged this guys ability, a rarity from him!
    If we do sign him, lets just hope Gallas and Toure stay, then we would really be strengthening our squad.

  9. -dean

    June 7, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    Wow. This blog is shit.

    In a recent post you said that Arsenal had signed this player. I see that you have gone back and altered the text. Here is a cached version instead:

    So, we have gone from signing someone to inching closer to signing someone! Total shit reporting from a totally shit blog.

  10. ClockEndofTimes

    June 7, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    I think there are some credible rumors that Gallas will be on his way. Given he’s entering the last year of his contract and neither party has mentioned renewal, it appears that if another club matches his current wages, then he’ll likely be off. The only thing keeping him here is that Madrid, Barca, Inter and Milan haven’t come in for him. If a decent offer arrived, do you think that a club and manager so mindful of balancing the books will let him leave on a free next May?

    If Gallas does stay, then what is the first choice CB pairing? It’s clear that Toure-Gallas doesn’t work well enough, but I don’t see anyone arguing that Vermaelen is a likely improvement over either of them. He does not have the necessary experience having never played in a top league, and never done well in CL football with not that many starts for Belgium and w/out Euro and World Cup experience.

    By the way, Zapata at 1.87m has excellent pace (appears to be much faster than Vermaelen) and Alves at 1.90m also has good speed. And of course, Lescott and Upson have proven that they can hack it in the league.

    As for Timmy Cahill, you don’t see him defending Hangeland, Felliani, Lescott Drogba or Vidic at corners and free kicks…

  11. GoonerDave

    June 7, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    ClockEnd – my point about Cahill is that hes quite small, yet regularly positions himself correctly, and has the athleticism to out-jump his opponents. So height isnt the be all and end all. Agreed on Zapata, hes got lots of talent. Id prefer Chiellini though, Im a big fan of his.
    Gallas would seem the more likely to leave, but hopefully neither will. Although I think I read somewhere that Toure is off to City in the next few days, but Ill believe it when I see it.

  12. ClockEndofTimes

    June 7, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    GoonerDave – Agree that positioning and timing can make up for a lack of height. But it is easier to get out-muscled if you’re smaller than your opponent, especially when there isn’t time to take a good line and get a good running jump.

    Chiellini looks the business, but Juve would want a huge transfer fee – something above £20m if they were to sell. And even then, there’s no indication that he wants to leave and come to the Emirates. Bruno Alves has his detractors and is likely to prefer a team with more of Portugese or Brazilian dynamic, but I think he is a top player, strong in the air, good on the ground – and available.

    Zapata has really impressed me, but I’ve only seen him a couple of times… apparently according to some blogs/forums he speaks english a real plus for a Colombian plying his trade in Italy…

  13. Danish Gooner

    June 8, 2009 at 2:55 am

    Zapata will have to come too,neither Senderos or Silvestre are any good and one off Toure or Gallas are leaving.

  14. Joshwaaaa

    June 8, 2009 at 5:57 am

    Doesnt being captain for his club at such a young age show that he does have experience?

  15. Eddie Yak

    June 8, 2009 at 6:52 am

    I think the hype about the tall and the short of footballers do not alway prove anything. It’s just people’s way of making irrelevant opinions. There are so many shorter than average footballers causing havoc in Premier Leagues all over the world. Perhaps a very good example is Andre Ashavin, isn’t he an outstanding footballer ? I do not think Kevin Keegan, Gerd Mueller or Maradona are tall but they are outstanding in the way they adapted their height disadvantages in football. One shockingly outstanding footballer I can recalled in professional football is only 1.6m or 5ft 5ins in height during his stint in the 1970-80 period. He is a striker and also 1977 European Footballer of the Year beating Kevin Keegan and Michel Platini for the honour. His name : Allan Simonsen of Denmark. He was very successful and also played for Barcelona and holds the record of winning the European Cup, UEFA Cup, Cup Winners Cup, League Cup capped for Denmark 55 times and score 20 goals during a period when Denmark was not a top footballing nation. I hope this is prove that height is not always the problem if the player is talented enough.

  16. e-@-h

    June 8, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    from the lastest article in the mirror, an official scout states that vermaelen is 1.87m(6ft. 1in.) and he is vert atletique and has an excellent leap. so why all the hype on these blogs over 2 inches?

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