Thomas Vermaelen should swap Arsenal for Tottenham

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Tottenham Hotspur should consider an approach for Arsenal skipper Thomas Vermaelen this summer, if - as expected - Jan Vertonghen leaves White Hart Lane.

With Spurs currently short on defensive options, both at centre-back and left-back, the Belgium international would be a competent addition to their first-team squad for the 2014/15 campaign.

Vermaelen has endured a frustrating season at the Emirates Stadium playing second-fiddle to the Gunners first choice central defensive pairing of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.

The 28-year-old has retained the club captaincy despite his limited action, but has been heavily linked with a move away in the upcoming transfer window as Arsene Wenger struggles to find a place for the former Ajax star in his starting XI.

One place Vermaelen would find regular action easier to come by is across the divide at north London rivals Tottenham.

With suggestions that Louis van Gaal is set to replace Tim Sherwood as manager after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, his arrival at Tottenham could also pave way for the Arsenal star to switch allegiances.

The Holland head coach was employed as Ajax's technical director when Vermaelen made his breakthrough at the Amsterdam Arena, and could turn to the Gunners stopper in a bid to help shore up his soon-to-be-inherited back line.

According to the Daily Mail last month, Wenger is keen to retain Vermaelen's services and is planning talks with the defender over a new contract before the World Cup this summer.

Vermaelen will certainly seek assurances over his first-team role, and could still push for an exit if he remains unsatisfied, with only 12 months to run on his existing deal.

The fact that Vermaelen is happy living in London might rule out a summer switch abroad, but a transfer Tottenham could still be a possibility as it is unlikely to cause much upheaval for his family.

Moving between Arsenal and Tottenham is not completely unheard of, with William Gallas the last player to make the controversial free transfer switch when his contract expired at the Emirates in 2010.

Gallas isn't exactly remembered fondly by Gunners supporters though, and Vermaelen might have to accept a similar level of vitriol and abuse from fans were he to follow in the Frenchman's footsteps.

But, it could prove to be the best option in order to prolong his Premier League career, at least one that will involve him playing week-in week-out, as opposed to settling for a watching brief as first reserve at Arsenal.

Given his commitment and level of service over the past five years Vermaelen would likely be treated with a little more respect than the likes of Gallas or Emmanuel Adebayor, who also became a cult hate figure at Arsenal following his acrimonious departure, the ill-feeling towards him was heightened even further when he turned up at White Hart Lane.

Either way, Vermaelen shouldn't let that negativity put him off the possibility of joining Tottenham, with the opportunity for more regular football in the Premier League in order to protect his international prospects high on his list of priorities.

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Thomas Vermaelen
Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League

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