In seasons prior to last, Arsenal centre-back Thomas Vermaelen was regarded as one of the best defenders in the Premier League.
His no-nonsense style of defending made him strong in the tackle, commanding in the air, and an extremely intelligent player.
As well as this he was also looked upon highly for the amount of goals he scored and the attacking drive within him that allows him to join in with attacking moves.
So what happened to him last season?
It was announced before the start of the 2012/13 season that Vermaelen was to become club captain and, in a role he had done before, he seemed suited to using his commanding leadership over the pitch and motivating the rest of the team.
After a good start to the season Vermaelen’s form significantly dropped, where he made individual mistakes due to lapses in concentration.
His place in the squad was then taken by Laurent Koscielny, who did a great job. There is no doubt in the quality that Vermaelen possesses but whether he can recover that quality is another matter.
So what's next for the big Belgian?
Next season Vermaelen should be playing regularly again and must recover from this bad patch of form.
In the 2011/12 season he formed a great partnership with Koscielny which really tightened up the defence. Another reason why Vermaelen should be back in the squad is that the World Cup is coming up soon and the defender will be eager to receive a call-up.
However, Vermaelen will only achieve this by improving and fighting for his place back in the team. As a result of this, Arsenal should benefit from his great attributes again next season.
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