Thomas Vermaelen has been a key figure in Arsene Wenger's team, up until last season that is.
Since joining from Ajax in 2009 Vermaelen has appeared for Arsenal 150 times, scoring five goals in the five years that he has been a Gunners player.
Being a trusted part of the defensive back four, Vermaelen has always been preferred in the central role alongside Laurent Koscielny and when he has been fit and consistent he was always in the team. However an achilles injury picked up in the 2010-2011 season saw Vermaelen sit out for eight months before finally making his come-back in April 2011.
At the start of the 2011-2012 season following the departure of Cesc Fabregas, Vermaelen was named as vice-captain behind Robin van Persie. However due to his performances and leadership on the pitch Vermaelen was then named Arsenal captain in 2012, taking over after the Van Persie's departure.
Due to the Belgian's on and off injuries in the season of 2011-2012 and his inconsistent performances in the season of 2012-2013 he was dropped from the team and replaced at centre back by Per Mertesacker, who for a whole season partnered Koscielny at the back while Vermaelen could only watch from the sidelines.
He was only ever brought in if one of the two players were injured, suspended or just to be used as an additional defender if the team wanted to protect their lead in a game or to play more attacking football as Vermaelen is also good at going forward.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that he would like to keep a player with the abilities of Vermaelen but he has also admitted that he could leave due to the lack of playing time he has had last season.
Despite a lack of games for the club in the 2013-2014 season Vermaelen managed to lift his first trophy at the club. Being the captain of the team and, despite not playing part in the FA Cup final, Vermaelen was given the privilege by his teammates of lifting the FA Cup trophy after nine years without a trophy for Arsenal.
Vermaelen has made an impact on the club and many fans hope that he will stay because he is a good player to have in the team whether he be first choice or not, due to his presence and structure. The 29-year-old is a strong and talented player that when needed will produce on the biggest stages.
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