When we speak about key men for Arsenal, we talk about Cesc Fabregas, Robin Van Persie and even Andrey Arshavin etc but for me the real key man is Thomas Vermaelen.
In terms of importance, Vermaelen is much more valuable. It is not a secret that the defensive side of our game has been in the lime-light this summer as we have lost Gallas, Campbell, Silvestre and Senderos. We have added Koscielny to our defence but as yet, that is our only defensive signing. At the moment, that does not look enough. Our only well-known back-up is Johan Djourou and he has not ever had a full season and seems to get more injuries then I have had hot dinners. Johan can be a good player for the club and proved it when he kept Kolo Toure out of the team a few seasons ago; however, injuries seem to come at the wrong time for him.
With Koscielny and Djourou, we have two defenders with great potential but not established. Even Thomas Vermaelen, has only one year experience in the Premier League but proved how good of a player he is.
Thomas was fearless last season and was always putting his head where some people would not put their foot. Thomas was everywhere, he defended like a solider and added goals to his game.
His importance is massive this season. An injury to Thomas and Arsenal will be in real trouble. I still think a centre back will come in, it may happen last minute, but unless Wenger has seen something in our younger generation of defenders, such as Nordtveit then perhaps a deal will not happen. We have strongly been linked to a goal keeper and that seems the more likely deal to be concluded. If a deal for a centre back is done then it may be left very late. I feel Mr Wenger is willing to take a risk with the Liverpool game and thinks he can get away Blackpool at home but think he may have his signings done by the Blackburn game, if not by then, I expect to have a long night when the window shuts. We all remember the Arshavin deal or the Cole and Gallas swap, they certainly were long nights.
Even if a defender does come in; I feel Vermaelen will be a massive player this season. He has the tag of ‘future’ Arsenal captain and reminds me of a Tony Adams type figure when playing at the back. He can command the back four and control it. He is very vocal and organises his defence well. He will be a great asset this season and I really hope for all our sake that he stays fit because if he does and a centre back and a goal keeper does come in, then I can see Arsenal having a great season.
Come on you Arsenal!