The Belgium international who still has 18 months to run on his existing deal, has grown increasingly frustrated with life at the Emirates Stadium having lost his place in the starting lineup.
The 28 year old said he was hoping for more game time this season and also stated that a decision on his future will be taken at the end of the current campaign.
According to Talk Sport, he said:
I do occasionally have the chance to play, but you must remember that the players in front of me are incredibly fit and play almost all the time.
Of course I was hoping for more playing time.
I do not know [whether I will sign a new contract].
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We’ll see at the end of the season. We are very much in the title race and have a chance of winning the FA Cup. My future is currently not on the agenda.
These are worries for later.
Vermaelen has struggled with injury and form over the past year or so, having failed to displace either Per Mertesacker or Laurent Koscielny in Arsene Wenger’s first-choice back-line. Wenger can’t be blamed for sticking with his centra back pairing this season, as they have been rock solid at the back which has worked against the Belgian’s bid to break back into the side.
The Verminator has performed solidly in his limited game time however. His positioning and defensive discipline has been strong and having a player of his caliber to call upon as backup has been vital for the Gunners this term. He is a leader in the dressing room, experienced and passionate about the club. He is far from a spent force at centre back and can provide invaluable cover for Mertesacker and Koscielny for years to come, but Wenger must find a way to accommodate his captain in the interim.
He showed his class by stepping to the fore when he was badly needed and delivering a couple of performances that contributed chiefly to Arsenal’s cup progress and creditable restoration of pride against Bayern. It’s unlikely Arsenal will find anyone of the quality of Vermaelen, so it would be foolish to let him leave.
He may be set for an extended run in the side depending on Koscielny’s injury. Should he put in some man of the match performances he may be able to keep out the Frenchman, but unless he performs amazingly it’s difficult to see him displacing Kosc alongside General Mertesacker.
Do you think we can risk losing him this summer? Share your thoughts in the comments below.