Vermaelen hints at Arsenal exit
Belgian defender concerned at lack of playing time ahead of World Cup
West Bromwich Albion’s Shane Long is challenged by Arsenal’s Thomas Vermaelen during the Capital One Cup, third round match at The Hawthorns. Photograph: David Davies/PA
Arsenal club captain Thomas Vermaelen has hinted he may seek a move away from the Emirates Stadium if first-team opportunities remain hard to come by.
The Belgian has been kept out of the starting XI this season by Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny, who have flourished at the heart of the Gunners’ defence.
Vermaelen is not unduly concerned by the situation, but he wants to feature regularly for Arsene Wenger’s men as he is keen to play a part for Belgium in the World Cup next year.
“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 said.
“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.”