When Thomas Vermaelen joined the club in 2009, he was an indispensable player to the team and his six goals in his debut campaign endeared him to the hearts of Arsenal fans.
His Achilles tendon injury he suffered in his second season kept him out for close to seven months, but the club had acquired the services of a certain Laurent Koscielny that played alongside Johan Djourou for a considerable chunk of the campaign.
After the 8-2 mauling at the hands of Manchester United in the 2011-12 campaign, Arsene Wenger made five “panic buys” to salvage his season and the BFG, Per Mertesacker, was one of those signings.
After acclimatizing to life in the Premier League, Mertesacker had his fair share of critics and even suffered an ankle injury that cut his season short and threatened his place in the German National team in Euro 2012.
Last season, Mertesacker found his feet and became a mainstay in the squad as he complemented both Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny. After some more erratic performances from the skipper, Arsene Wenger felt he had seen enough and he displaced him with Koscielny.
Since then, these lads have successfully displaced the captain from the team and their partnership inspires confidence as the Gunners tend to always get positive results when they play together.