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Aaron Ramsey, on Thomas Vermaelen: 'He is a big loss for us'

Shaun Botterill

Thomas Vermaelen is indeed leaving England and all signs point to a deal with FC Barcelona. The Belgium defender is unofficially a Blaugrana, as we're waiting confirmation from the club. But at Arsenal, his (for now) current club, teammates already talk about him as a former Gunner.

In a press conference after training on Thursday, Aaron Ramsey, the talented Arsenal midfielder, talked about the departure of his captain, and the tone was clearly that of a farewell:

"He is a fantastic player and a good friend of mine as well, so if that does happen it would be a big, big loss to us, because he is a top player. But he has been a little frustrated over the last year, especially, where he hasn't had the minutes that he would've wanted, so you can probably understand his frustrations. If that has to happen, it would be a big loss to us.

Well, I was a bit surprised when I heard that [he was leaving], but he offers a lot of experience. He has won everything here in England and I'm sure he can offer that to a lot of the players there, and if needed he can score a goal or two, too. I was surprised, I thought he would stay here, but obviously he felt like [he needed] a change. Over the years he was a fantastic player for Arsenal, whenever he went to the pitch he always gave it a hundred percent, and always wanted to do his best, so we thank him for that and wish him all the best with his new club."

It is clear that Ramsey and the other Arsenal players know that Vermaelen is going away, so there is very little reason to doubt that a deal with Barça will be official by Friday or Saturday.

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