Arsenal fans appear to be fretting at the thought of another captain heading to Manchester United, but with reports claiming that Mats Hummels is interesting Arsene Wenger, the Gunners should be pushing Thomas Vermaelen out the door.
Losing a second captain in two years to a direct Premier League rival is bound to whip up a storm at the Emirates Stadium. Of course, Robin van Persie signified a bigger loss than Vermaelen ever will, but there is still reservations about selling the 28-year-old to Louis van Gaal.
Simply reflecting on Vermaelen's form over the last two years would be enough to ease that discomfort and the idea that World Cup winner Hummels could replace him should leave Arsenal fans itching to see Vermaelen in a Manchester United shirt. In fact if Vermaelen joins Manchester United and Hummels joins Arsenal, Van Gaal will be left red faced while Wenger could be satisfied with another stellar piece of transfer business.
Vermaelen: Is he worth it?
With just one-year left on his contract, Vermaelen could leave for free next summer, costing Arsenal around £10 million in potential transfer fees. Not only that, but Wenger would be stuck with an unhappy, out-of-sorts centre-back that is prone to a fatal error.
He would undoubtedly lose his armband and his place in the squad would be virtually untenable. It would not be as far to say that he would be as useless as Sebastien Squillaci - an Arsenal player, but not really an Arsenal player. You get it.
Selling Vermaelen to Manchester United has been construed as strengthening a Premier League rival, but that opinion fails to recognise the fact that Vermaelen has not been considered a world-class defender since 2011; before an ankle injury kept him out for over a year.
The £10 million transfer fee generated from Vermaelen's sale would add to an already bulging pile of excess cash. Wenger was given £100 million to spend this summer and has so far spent just under £60 million.
Borussia Dortmund have been adamant that Hummels wouldn't be sold, but money talks and money is exactly what Arsenal have. Signing the World Cup winner would consign Vermaelen's transfer to Old Trafford to a footnote in the memory bank as Hummels cuts an impressive figure compared to the deflated Vermaelen.
Manchester United embarrassed
It has been surprising to see Van Gaal interested in the Arsenal captain. Not only would they have to pay a premium for a rival player but Vermaelen represents a serious risk with both form and fitness.
If he moves to Old Trafford it will be to revive a once promising career rather than furthering an already flourishing one - something Van Persie can claim to have done. Meanwhile Hummels is reaching the peak of his game and would command join up with international teammate Per Mertesacker in Arsenal's defence.
The sight of Hummels arriving at the Emirates would certainly leave Manchester United fans underwhelmed with their new addition. It would further remind them of how far their team has fallen since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson. For now, they can not attract top quality.
Signing Hummels would prove Arsenal are the bigger team for the moment. Offloading a fallen star for an inflated price would be so different to Van Persie's transfer.
This time Arsenal will be getting the better end of the deal.
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