Thomas Vermaelen admits he may have to consider his future at Arsenal, having lost his place in the starting eleven this season.
The popular Belgian has been a success in England following his arrival from Ajax in 2009, but Arsene Wenger has preferred a central defensive combination of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker in recent times. Indeed, Vermaelen, who cost a fee of £10million, has made just one substitute appearance in the Premier League this season.
A back injury hasn’t helped the 27-year-old’s hopes, but with the Gunners topping the early table and also winning both of their UEFA Champions League matches, he faces a fight to force his way back into the starting eleven. And as this could impact his chances of featuring for his county at the World Cup next year, this may cause him to consider his future.
“I’ll have to think about that when it’s necessary. January is still a few months ahead. Of course, never playing will not be the ideal situation for me to go to the World Cup, that’s for sure,” he told the Daily Mail. “People ask me if I panic because I’m not playing a lot but I’m not. I have spoken to the manager but it will remain private between us. Things can happen in a split second and change my situation. That can happen tomorrow or next weekend. In that case, we will speak differently in January. I have to be ready for that.”
Vermaelen has stiff competition to cement his place in the Belgium side. Vincent Kompany, who captained Manchester City to the Premier League title in 2012, will be guaranteed a spot if he is fit. Tottenham Hotspur’s Jan Vertonghen and the experienced Daniel van Buyten of Bayern Munich are also in contention, whilst Zenit St Petersburg ace Nicolas Lombaerts is another option for Marc Wilmots as he prepares his squad for Rio.