Thomas Vermaelen has had a pretty rough time of it these past few years.
In and out of the Arsenal squad because of injuries, it was therefore something of a surprise when Barcelona came in with a €15 million offer for the player, despite being warned off of the deal by club doctors.
It was inevitable once the doctor's advice went unheeded that Vermaelen would become a liability and so it proved.
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Not until the very last knockings of the 2014/15 season did the Belgian get a look in with the first team, and even then it was in games that weren't particularly important.
Hardly the start in Catalonia that the player would've hoped for.
But it might be the best that it gets for Vermaelen. Here's three reasons why his career could already be over for the Blaugrana.
The most obvious reason of all.
Whilst there is no doubting his defensive prowess when fit - you don't become captain of Arsenal if you're second rate - getting him fit for any length of time is proving troublesome.
Since the start of the 2007/08 season, the Belgian international has been out of action for an eye-popping 831 days. Over two years spent on the treatment table.
Barca just cannot take the risk that Vermaelen "might" one day be fit for purpose.
The worst news that Vermaelen could've received was Marc Bartra's transfer u-turn.
A lack of games for the fully fit youngster had seen some cryptic messages on social media which appeared to suggest that Bartra was considering his options.
With no shortage of takers, Bartra could've had his pick of new employers but, in the end, he decided to stay at Barca.
There has to have been a guarantee of game time to ensure that Barca kept hold of one of their best defensive assets, so where does that leave Vermaelen?
Even if you could overlook the injury troubles that have beset Vermaelen, when you break it down he doesn't actually offer anything different to the other central defenders that Barcelona have on their books.
Prior to the 2014/15 season, you could say that the Belgian's dominance in the air would've been the biggest asset for Barca, but given that Gerard Pique and co only conceded two goals in the entire season from set pieces and balls into the box, you'd have to argue that Luis Enrique has locked that door and thrown away the key.
Vermaelen is adept at bring the ball out from defence and has the intelligence to almost always pick the right pass.
But so do Pique and Javier Mascherano.
Football is a cruel game sometimes, and for all concerned it's probably better that Vermaelen clears his locker.
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