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Robin van Persie's summer transfer freed Thomas Vermaelen up for the Arsenal captaincy. Arsene Wenger wanted to provide the gifted Belgian with a springboard towards becoming a Gunners legend, but unfortunately, the complete opposite happened.
Vermaelen's season has been crippled with poor form. Despite comfortably bossing one of Arsenal's centre-back positions in previous years, it's somewhat cruel that he fits into this team as a left-back. Deployed across the back four throughout the year, Vermaelen just hasn't shown the qualities that outlined him as Arsenal's leader.
Many will remember the defender's decision to set Robin van Persie up at Old Trafford. Unfortunately for Arsenal, the Dutch forward had moved to Manchester United by this point. Vermaelen's positioning, distribution and overall play has struggled when up against world-class talent this season, as highlighted in the Gunners' defeat to Tottenham in March.
In fact, the 27-year-old's name has only featured once in the starting lineup since that day at White Hart Lane. Wenger's decision to keep faith with the Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny pairing looks to be far steadier for the time being.