Just a few hours after Palace were linked with a move for one Barcelona star in the Jasper Cillessan, there are now reports surfacing of a deal being put in place to bring Thomas Vermaelen back to the Premier League until Frank de Boer’s watch.
The Belgian defender spent the first six years of his professional career with de Boer’s old club Ajax, meaning that the pair crossed paths when Frank was in charge of the club’s youth programme between 2007 and 2009. In the summer of the latter year, Vermealen was sold to Arsenal for a fee of £10 million and even though some expressed doubts over his suitability to the Premier League, he took to it like a duck to water.
Affectionately referred to as “The Verminator” by Arsenal’s fans during his time in North London, Thomas became known as a goalscoring threat, bagging a startlingly solid 15 goals in in 150 appearances for the Gunners. It’s a trait he’s proven time and again over the years, with 27 club goals to his name in 318 professional appearances overall.
Having been consistently linked with a move for Liverpool man Mamadou Sakho, it’s obvious that the club are in the market for a leader of men at the centre of defence, making Vermaelen an obvious option for de Boer. Named as Arsenal’s captain at the start of the 2012-13 season, Arsene Wenger clearly had immense trust in Thomas both on and off the pitch prior to his headline making move to Barcelona.
Sadly, the latter part of Vermaelen’s stay at Arsenal and the entirety of his stint with the Catalan giants has been plagued by injury and despite him still being only 31, there are genuine concerns over whether or not his body can cope with the demands of a full Premier League season. Sent on loan to Roma last season, he managed a total of 11 appearances, although it’s unclear whether or not the lack of action was down to injury or a mere tactical choice by the Roma coaches.
It’s a move that would certainly excite a large section of the Palace fan-base and based on the report at the top of the page, it’s looking extremely likely. How would you feel about it?