Football

Arsenal defender must leave to save World Cup dream

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Only a year ago, Thomas Vermaelen was widely regarded as one of Arsenal's most important players - a captain of steadying influence, whilst also providing excitement with his adventures forward from defence.

Fast forward to this season and it's a completely different story.

Injuries have forced Arsene Wenger into playing Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny together in the heart of defence - and how well it has worked.

The pair have very different attributes - Mertesacker's anticipation and aerial prowess, matched with Koscielny's tackling and ball-playing skills, mean the two are a great fit together.

Wenger may insist that Belgian Vermaelen still has a role to play at the club - the question is, is it a role he will be happy to fulfil?

Belgium haven't qualified for the World Cup since 2002 – so being at Brazil 2014 will mean everything to Vermaelen – especially when the team have an outside chance of bringing home the trophy with world-class talent such as Vincent Kompany and Eden Hazard amongst the star-studded squad.

There is little chance Vermaelen's place in the 23-man squad will be in doubt considering Belgium has no true depth at left-back (ex-Southampton left-back Jelle van Damme made the squad recently while the Gunners defender was sidelined through injury).

However, with the team they now possess, there is no guarantee he would be a starter - particularly in the centre-back role, with Kompany as formidable as ever, Jan Vertonghen impressing at Tottenham and Toby Alderweireld attracting more admirers with every performance.

For the sake of his international prospects, Vermaelen needs to find regular first-team football and if Koscielny and Mertesacker keep playing as they have been together; he won't be finding it at Arsenal.

The left-back slot also offers little hope with Kieran Gibbs making a promising start to the season and deputy fullback Nacho Monreal waiting in the wings. 

He's also expendable by Arsenal's standards - so in the interests of all parties, it may be time for a fresh start.

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Topics:
Football
Arsenal
Thomas Vermaelen

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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