Arsenal got their pre-season preparations off to a successful start thanks a 2-0 win over Conference South side Boreham Wood. After Arsene Wenger discussed transfers with the media and the future of club captain Thomas Vermaelen.
The Belgian has become third choice behind established duo Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker despite continuing to hold the clubs armband. His future is up in the air at present with the centre-half admitting he will hold talks with the club upon his return to north London.
Wenger admitted he cannot offer any assurances over the defender who has been heavily linked with a move to Premier League rivals Manchester United, but admitted he will definitely sign a replacement with the Gunners light on options in the heart of the defence.
The Arsenal boss told reporters:
I cannot guarantee that [Vermaelen will stay at the club] but should he go, I will bring another centre back in for sure.
It will be sad to see the Verminator depart, but the Gunners could look to cash in as it is unlikely he will sign an extension beyond next summer. He’s a brilliant No3 centre-back and is more than capable of filling in and playing cup games, but it is clear he will continue to play second fiddle to our established duo. Wenger will have his work cut out to find a decent replacement.
The Frenchman also confirmed he will be purchasing a goalkeeper to compete with Wojciech Szczesny, with David Ospina the most heavily linked at present to replace the departed Lukasz Fabianski.
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I will bring in a goalkeeper for sure.
Arsenal have already captured Alexis Sanchez this summer to add more depth up front and on the wings, while Mathieu Debuchy has come in as a direct replacement for Bacary Sagna. Wenger still has a busy transfer window ahead as he seeks to find a goalkeeper, potentially another defender and possibly a defensive midfielder.
Wenger stressed that there are many factors in transfer deals and so far they’ve been able to wrap up deals because the clubs involved have wanted to engage in discussions early, however other situations ahead may not be so easy.
I’m very happy with what I could do until now. It’s not over – there’s still a long way to go.
[on future deals] I can’t give you any names because you are never sure that you can do what you want. We are still out there to strengthen our squad.
You are not the only one who decides that [deals completing early]. Sometimes players that you want are available very late. You refer maybe to the Ozil case but at the same period last year, he was not available and became available very late. We’ll do the deals when it’s possible and that depends on three different opinions. This team we could do it early.
Arsenal have a long summer ahead, but most importantly the season begins in four weeks. A decent run-out for some of the lads today, a nice mix of youth and experience topped off with a stunning through-ball from Tomas Rosicky. Pure class. Check out the highlights here on Arsenal Player. Next up – a trip to NYC.