Vermaelen turned out for the Belgian national team for a friendly against United States and sustained an injury in his back. It was not thought of as very serious initially, but further tests have revealed that they are suspecting a cracked bone in his back.
He has certainly been ruled out of Arsenal’s pre-season tour to Asia which is starting on Sunday. He might also be forced to sit out the first few weeks of the new season. Vermaelen’s absence leaves the Gunners very short on number at the back, with only two fit center-backs, in the form of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker, available after they released French veteran Sebastian Squilacci and shipped out Johan Djourou to Bundesliga outfit Hannover on loan.
Wenger might be left with no choice but to dip into the transfer market and sign a central defender as a priority if he does not want to begin the season so short on personnel. It was previously reported that Arsenal were interested in signing Swansea City’s Ashley Williams, however those rumors cooled off in recent weeks. Metro now suggests that the latest Vermaelen blow for Arsenal could very much bring the Williams rumors back to life.
Wenger was previously put off by Swansea’s £10 million asking price for their captain, but he might not have much of an option now.
The next few weeks could very well result in a flurry of reports of Arsenal chasing a defender. Do you feel that Wenger will give in to Swansea’s demands and pay the £10 million they are asking for, or will he turn his attention elsewhere and try to sign another cheaper defender instead?