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Thomas Vermaelen: The Barcelona centre-back who can't catch a break

Thomas Vermaelen vying the ball against Son Heung-min in Champions League group clash
Thomas Vermaelen vying the ball against Son Heung-min in Champions League group clash
Modified 18 Dec 2018, 13:35 IST

Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen is set for another lengthy spell on the sidelines after being forced to depart from the match against Levante on Tuesday. This recent injury means that Barcelona is left with two centre-backs, one left-back and no right-back. It is highly probable that Barcelona will go all out in the winter transfer window to address this issue.

He is a highly skilled, and talented centre-back but unfortunately, his name has become more synonymous with injury.

His injury situation is not new. His body has been injury prone from his time at Ajax and Arsenal. When he was picked up by Barcelona in the summer of 2014, a lot of eyebrows were raised. Barcelona took a gamble, but it did not pay off well. 

When Thomas Vermaelen put pen to paper with Barcelona over the summer for a fee of £15 million.

Upon his arrival in Barcelona, after penning a deal which saw him move over from Arsenal to Catalan club for a fee of £15 million, former Arsenal captain told to official website.

I want to put the injuries I’ve had behind me and look to the future. My aim is to play in lots of games and help the team. Last year was tough, but I want to start from zero and I am sure I'll have a fantastic season here at Barca.- Vermaelen

Ironically two days after completing his medical, he was injured again. The club said.

The first-team player Thomas Vermaelen has a thigh injury in his right leg that he sustained in June at the World Cup. The player will undergo physiotherapy. His return to regular training action depends on the evolution of the injury.- FC Barcelona
Plot 1
Plot 1

He grew up in Antwerp, Belgium. At the very young age of six, he started his youth career in his home country with Germinal Ekeren. After spending roughly ten years at his boyhood club, he was spotted by Ajax scouts. He joined the Ajax Youth Academy in 2000. He rose through the youth ranks and earned a spot in senior team in 2004. In his very first season as a professional footballer, he won the 2003-2004 Eredivisie title.


He suffered two back to back crucial ligament rupture in 2007 which effectively put him out of the squad for 161 days. 

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Plot 2

He moved to Arsenal in 2009, but injuries accompanied him to England as well. He was having a good season when he had Achilles tendon problems on Sep 10, 2010. It was a huge setback as it ruled him out for a total of 230 days.

Vermaelen played only five games for Arsenal in 2010-11. He was on the sidelines for more than a third of his final four years in North London. He played only once in his debut season in La Liga and made six starts the season after. He was injured the whole year apart from the one game against Deportivo in the end when Barcelona were already the champions.

Whenever he was fit, he was superb, but unfortunately, he did not get so many opportunities to cement his place. Injuries never left him alone, and such a great talent was forced to sit on the sidelines for most of the team. 

Published 18 Dec 2018, 13:15 IST
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