Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen will miss the clubs tour of the Far East. A back problem will see him miss the entire pre-season and leaves the defender with a race for fitness ahead of the season opener.
Vermaelen aggravated a back problem when playing for Belgium at the end of last season. He has been having regular massage therapy as well as other treatments but the situation hasn’t eased and has even triggered a thigh muscle injury.
The 27 year old lost his starting place at the end of last season and would have been eager to impress before the start of the season but has been faced with a hammer blow. His Arsenal future has been widely speculated about however sources close to the club expect him to remain at the Emirates. His injury is likely to put potential suitors off too.
Vermaelen’s stay may not stop Wenger from buying another defender with the Belgian expected to miss the opening weeks of the season. The Gunners play five games in the opening two weeks of the season and Wenger will want back-up in the defensive department. Daily mail already reporting the deal for Swansea’s Ashley Williams is back on which is good news as even if Vermaelen is not injured, we will still need another CB as it is not absolutely safe going into a season with 3 CBs.
The latest set back gives Wenger a frustrating scenario with Santi Cazorla and Nacho Monreal also set to miss the start of the season due to their Confederations Cup participation.
The good news for Arsenal fans is that Jack Wilshere will be joining the squad on the tour. The young playmaker had minor ankle surgery in June but has recovered well and can take his place on the tour. He missed the last pre-season due to injury and his return to fitness will benefit both him and Arsenal before the season’s start.