Injury may have severely deprived Thomas Vermaelen from his playing opportunities at the Nou Camp, but manager Luis Enrique's spirits have not yet been dampened by the concerning absence of Barcelona's summer signing.
The Belgian centre-back arrived at the Catalan club in the summer for a £15 million transfer fee from Arsenal, but Luis Enrique does not believe that his money has been wasted.
"Thomas is very unlucky. He has just picked up another injury so close to returning so he will be out for a long time again" he explained to the Daily Mirror.
Enrique also praised the quality of Vermaelen later in an interview. "The day he plays, he will fulfil what I said about him because he is a very good player" he described.
The 29-year-old is yet to make his competitive debut for Barcelona, and his latest injury which has ruled him out for another three months due to its surgical requirements looks set to put his La Liga career on standby for the meantime.
"Injury was always a problem towards the end of my career with Arsenal and it seems to be becoming a more regular issue now so I think I will have to take things a little easier."
His time at the Emirates Stadium with Arsenal was going so smoothly with 13 goals in 113 appearances under Arsene Wenger until a boulder of injuries clashed into the Belgian.
A poll cast by the Daily Mirror revealed that 58% of people believed that the transfer was not needed while the other 42% were in favour of the transfer.
Vermaelen then hit back at his critics to question: "How can people make such remarks when I have not yet played for the club?"
So, it won't be until late February until the 29-year-old can stake a claim as to justify to his generous manager that paying such a large sum of money was suitable.
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