By 90Min
November 15, 2017

Former Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen has lamented his decision not to leave Barcelona during the summer. His decision to stay was swayed by Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde who convinced the player to remain at the Nou Camp and fight for his place. 

Vermaelen has had a personal battle of fighting against his ailing fitness concerns since his arrival from Arsenal in 2014. Though he has overcome that feat he hasn't been able to best the fight of game minutes.

He told Het Laatste Nieuws (via The Sun), "I'm not going to say anything about that because last time I spoke my words were taken out of context.

"In the summer I thought it would be positive to stay at Barcelona. But after seeing how my situation is here, I've seen that's not the case."

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Despite his side enjoying a fruitful start to the season, sitting four points clear at the top of La Liga, the Belgian has only been able to witness this from the bench. With the transfer window, reopening in January, Valverde will find it hard to motivate Vermaelen to stay at the Catalan club. 

Being a World Cup year, fringe players across the footballing world will look for greater assurances of game time to audition themselves for their role in Russia next summer.

Vermaelen has been included in the matchday squad on numerous occasions, but the 31-year-old has only been restricted to just one game against Murcia in the Copa del Rey for Barcelona.


The veteran did get some much-needed game time for his country against Mexico last week, which he said he was: "Happy to play with Belgium, given that my with my club I almost never play."

Anderlecht are rumoured to be interested in signing the Belgian, though a loan looks more likely with Vermaelen being under contract until June 2019.

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