Thomas Vermaelen is an Arsenal player…

It’s official now… Thomas Vermaelen, former captain of Ajax is an Arsenal player now… here’s what Arsene said:

Thomas is a great signing for Arsenal Football Club, and we are all delighted that he is joining us. Thomas is a solid performer with good experience of Champions League and UEFA Cup football and is also a regular with the Belgium national team.

Thomas is primarily a left-footed centre back, but he’s multi-functional and can also play at left back. He is strong technically with a positive winner’s attitude and I have no doubt his arrival will strengthen our team. The player will be a huge asset to Arsenal.

And the player also spoke:

“I’m just so happy to be joining Arsenal. This is a great Club with a world class manager, high quality players and a fantastic stadium. Everything is set up for Arsenal to be very successful for years to come and I joined this Club because I know Arsenal will be challenging for trophies.

“I have had a good taste of the Champions League during my time with Ajax and this is something I am looking forward to experiencing again with Arsenal. I’m also looking forward to playing in the English Premier League, which for me, is the best league in the world. Also, I just want to assure the Arsenal fans that I will give everything for this Club and I hope we can enjoy winning some trophies together next season.”

Ajax have revealed information about the fee:

Ajax and Arsenal FC have reached agreement about the transfer of Thomas Vermaelen. The transfer has a total worth of 12 million euro, of which 10 million fixed and 2 million variable.

10 million euros (according the current exchange rate is £8.4m) which is very good business for a captain of a top side and a player with such experience at International and Champions League level… (that’s a quarter of what Rio Ferdinand cost)…

So what are your thoughts? Who is next? Who will be off?

A lot of people say that Silvestre and Senderos are on their way out – but do you think Gallas or Toure would accept being second fiddle to the new boy?

  • Gooner Get Ya

    Woo Hoo a signing, and a signing we as fans wanted well done AW. Welcome aboard Thomas, lets win some trophies.

    I would prefer Gallas to go, only because of his personality not for his defending skills.

    I assume RVP is still holding out for a few more additions before he puts pen to paper because he stated the money is not the issue maybe if we sign a CM/DM and replace anyone who leaves he will sign the dotted line.

  • http://kierandelaney.net kierandelaney.net

    This is brilliant news! Signed in from Croatia just to say – this really will strengthen our team, especially when teams like United are (so far) weakening theirs.

    This is a brilliant signing – one of the few places we really needed to strengthen.

    He also has experience as a captain and a leader which Arsenal have lacked.

    I’ll comment more when I’m not in a foreign country!

  • JDD

    i would like to see both galllas and toure stay but if one does unfortunately leave i hope it would be gallas.even though i think hes a better player toure is arsenal through and through and hes younger

  • Fabrez

    Good point about a leader kieran…that’s what the lads need for sure. He seems like a confident player…sure of himself… will b out 2 prove himself nxt season so I only see positive for Arsenal nxt season. I expect our defense to be quite impressive. Time for Silvestre and Gallas to go tho.

    Toure NEEDS to stay imo…u don’t just sell a player who gives his heart and soul for the shirt while doing a damn good job. But i am concerned Arsene will be tempted if City make a good offer. I’d imagine money gained from selling Toure would go toward futher strengthening the squad. Many ifs and maybes for now…exciting weeks ahead!

  • Fabrez

    And after being 5’11 then growing to 6’1…Vermaelen is 6’0 on the Arsenal factfile…lol

  • Pete

    GOONER! GOONER! GOONER :D

    Great to see a young, talented and experienced player join us. Looking forward to seeing him in the red and white. Welcome to Arsenal Thomas, we wish you well! And good bit of business from Arsene, getting him for that price.

    Just wondering about who he’ll partner up with best? I could see him working well with either Toure, Gallas or Djourou to be quite honest, but I’m most excited to see him paired up with Kolo. Thats 4 quality defenders available for first team action right there, plus, if need be, extra back-up in Senderos, Song and Silvestre. And apparently he can play left-back too, so if Clichy, Gibbs and Traore are rested/injured then we’re sorted :D

    I dont mind if we keep hold of all our players because I’d rather have one or two extra available then be short by one or two. But if we do make any sales, I think Senderos will probably get us the most money. Gallas, I feel, can still play at the top level, so I wouldn’t get rid of him imho, and he seemed to really changed for the better after loosing the captaincy.

    Just want the holding midfield to get sorted quickly. But todays signing is encouraging :D

  • CON-MAN

    well to be honest, no-one has said hes going to start immediately…he might end up like pascal cygan. In my eyes, arsene will see how he does in pre season and then go from there…i think silvestre should go, hes a bit part player and was injured way to much BUT on the other hand, if he accepts being a bit part player and hes not eating up the wage bill, keeping him wouldnt be so bad, he could be a last resort if everyone else is injured or maybe just for FA CUP/CARLING CUP games, possibly senderos is on his way out aswell

  • Debs

    Good point CON-MAN. I think also that Wenger will not sell any of the defenders until pre-season training starts, because if he sells Gallas, and it turns out that Toure/Djourou – Vermaelen isn’t a decent partnership, or vice versa, then we’ve got a problem. I doubt Toure or Gallas would be sold, but Senderos could be. Pre-season starts soon (ish) so I guess maybe that’s when Wenger will decide who’s surplus to requirements, if at all anyone is!

  • AJ

    I reckon Senderos will go and could truly see him being used as a make weight for Melo from Fiorentina if we went for him, as for Gallas and Toure, I wouldn’t want, nor think Toure should be sold, he’s a true Arsenal player even if he did hand in a transfer request, plus Gallas’ attitude only seems to disrupt the squad when he has his outburts, even if he did improve after loosing the arm band. I feel that we may well see another defender added to the squad though, I think we have a fair amount more to spend than the 13 million that was touted around the media.

  • Yemi

    Great way to end the week.
    For me, toure should stay, gallas should stay, djourou should stay, silvestre should go, senderos undecided.
    We then need one experienced DM and an out and out striker that is direct. At least arsene has shown that he can get them at good prices. I am estimating he spends another 10-12m on a stiker or DM, then player plus cash for the one left of the two

  • zohaib

    If only Vermaelen was a right-footed player – he could’ve become our backup right-back. We already have enough backup for left-back. But at least it’s a signing in the right area of the pitch. That’s a relief. Of course, I hope he’s not an average player. I’d be satisfied if he could have the sort of effect Skrtel’s had at Liverpool, or Vidic’s had at ManUtd. But I’m also expecting more from Djourou.

    I guess we’re not signing any more defenders then …

    So if I’m guessing correctly, our next project should be signing a holding midfielder. But that might mean selling one of Denilson, Diaby and Song. Denilson and Song played well in parts of last season. Some statistics even show Denilson as one of the better holding/defensive midfielders in the premier league last season ! But of course they don’t tell the whole story and of course he’s not really a solution for our midfield problems. Will we then sell Diaby ? Somehow I can’t see any one of the three being sold. And as a result I’m not sure how we’ll be able to buy a proper holding/defensive midfielder if we already have 5 (+ Fabregas and Ramsey). That, as Wenger would put it, will ‘kill Diaby, Denilson and Song’.

    We’ve also heard Nasri say a few times that he’d want to become our solution to the central midfield problem by playing as a defensive midfielder. He thinks he can, and I’d have to agree. I think he actually could do a good job as a ball-winning, tackling, holding midfielder and we know he’s got the ability to play creative passes and attack defenders and take shots from range. He could be a complete midfielder. The only thing he might not be strong at is heading the ball and winning the aerial battles. That’s probably the only thing, and I don’t know what Wenger thinks but judging by the past few years, a tall holding midfielder isn’t something we’ve seen too much. So either that’s not the most important thing, or if it is then because Denilson and Song have been playing as DMs, maybe they’d be preferred to Nasri for DM. Which again leads me to the conclusion that I don’t see how we’re going to get an experienced DM.

    We definitely need one, no two ways about that. But I’m fully expecting Wenger to put the same boring, redundant argument that Denilson and Song are a year older so they’d have gained experience and HOPEFULLY they’ll be good enough.

    We’ve been taking too many unnecessary risks, like last summer when Flamini, Gilberto and Diarra all left, we knew Denilson and Song were young and inexperienced and Diaby was more of an AM. But we still didn’t replace the DMs. We should’ve at least got one experienced player. Now I think Wenger will say Denilson and Song have improved and they deserve their place in the team. He’s got a point but that’s basically saying I don’t care if we don’t win a trophy, I just want to give them their place in the team, because that’s more important. If winning trophies was really more important we’d be making sure our squad was strong in all areas and not taking silly risks.

    Now, we’ve been talking a lot about defenders. We’ve been linked to countless defenders. And now we’ve finally signed one. I’ve forgotten if we’ve actually been linked to any midfielders !

    Anyone have any hunches or recommendations as to who we might get or anybody know of any rumors for DM ?

  • Jimmy

    I’m happy to see a new centre back, i wouldn’t mind another as toure looks like he is going to city, what about raul albiol or maybe even playing djourou or senderos.

  • colin

    im sure he will do well for us we need a big name up front get rid of adebyore then maybe we can start winning games and getting some silverware in the trophy room

  • Berth

    Zohaib I see you are really excited about this move. At least there is a progress and we drew the first blood first among the top 4 in premiership something rare and unusual. I kind of have this feeling that the club is appeasing a player (RVP). Kieran glad to hear from you.

  • Yemi

    just thinking aloud, can’t we move toure into DM position ?

  • Fabrez

    Doubt that Yemi…in my eyes, he does a lot of the qualities to play there but Arsene has said he doesn’t have the stamina…

  • Berth

    Toure – DM; are you lads thinking football is just a twinkle of an eye game. Playing kolo in DMF is unprofessional in my opinion; It is not just a good idea

  • devday

    Seeing Vermaelen come in is completely different to the signing of Pascal Cygan – this player is very good. Martin Jol – ex Sp*rs manager and about to be Ajax manager was very disappointed to lose the Belgium international.

    Vermaelen is exactly what we need – he is 6 foot but also has incredible spring and very good in the tackle. I expect good things from the former Ajax captain.

    Personally, I believe Arsene thinks that Gallas and Toure are good enough, but eventually has succumbed to the stats that prove they are not – and also it has been our weakest area.

    This signing shows desire to fix what’s wrong and also that Arsene is pushing for honours – hopefully the next signing will be Robin Van Persie…

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  • http://kierandelaney.net kierandelaney.net

    Toure – DM; are you lads thinking football is just a twinkle of an eye game. Playing kolo in DMF is unprofessional in my opinion; It is not just a good idea

    That’s odd, it was his position for 20 years before he came to Arsenal. Wouldn’t it be more professional to play him in his favoured position?

  • CON-MAN

    ^^^ exactly

    in regards to you debs, i think pre season starts 6th july?

    but if anything, I feel Toure can play DM, hes got LOADS of energy, he can play right back aswell, hes very versatile, another reason I dont want to see him go

  • Berth

    Kolo was a winger and not a DMF!!!

  • zohaib

    I don’t think Toure has the composure and balance to play as a DM. Other than that he’s got quite a bit of ability, energy and pace. If Wenger says he doesn’t have that kind of stamina, he knows something we don’t. But it does seem possible. A central defender doesn’t have to cover as much ground as a defensive midfielder.

  • zohaib

    In any case, it’s again a make-shift solution. It seems after 4 years of mediocrity we’ve been infected with the disease that is playing players out of position and trying and experimenting instead of going with a sure solution. That’s been the reason for our downfall in addition to the injury problems.

    The last thing we should be talking about is new experiments.

  • http://kierandelaney.net kierandelaney.net

    Kolo was a winger and not a DMF!!!

    You better tell his country then, they’ve played him in DM 11 times!

  • Yemi

    Berth, i made my comment based on situation where wenger does not get a DM, since he already has a 2nd CB (we all agree that gallas was at his best after been stripped of the captains band),being more versatile and defensive minded, i would pick kolo ahead of song or denilson for DM position.
    I dont see that as much of an experiment.
    Be that as it may, i want kolo to stay but i hope and pray l boss get a DM and a out and out striker (my views)

  • Yemi

    tell them kieran, 11 times for country