It's official: Barcelona's eight new face for the squad has joined the team. Thomas Vermaelen is a Blaugrana, the club announced on Saturday. Arsenal has also confirmed the news.
The 28-year-old Belgium international comes in for an undisclosed fee, but many reports claim it's around €19 million, including incentives. The center-back will sign a five-year contract with Barça, after he passed all medicals today.
Barça's website had this to say about Vermaelen:
"Thomas Vermaelen is a natural leader who has already captained both Ajax and Arsenal despite being a relative youngster. He plays at centre back, and as well as having an impressive physique he is excellent with the ball at his feet and reads the game well. He turned pro at Ajax when he was just 19, and after winning several major honours in Holland, he then made the move to the English Premiership.
In his first year at Arsenal he was named in the Premier League XI, having especially made a name for himself for scoring headers from set pieces. He also has 46 international caps since making his debut in 2006, and he played at the Brazil 2014 World Cup."
And the Gunners thanked their former captain for his services:
"Vermaelen had been club captain for the past two seasons and was no stranger to the captain’s armband, having previously held the role with Ajax, where he spent nine years after joining from Belgian side Germinal Beerschot. Vermaelen has also skippered the Belgium national team and has now made 47 appearances for his country.
Vermaelen passed his medical in Barcelona on Saturday. His transfer is subject to the completion of the normal regulatory process.
Everyone at Arsenal would like to thank Thomas for his contribution during his time at the club and wish him well for the future."
If you follow Barça Blaugranes closely, you already knew about the deal since last Monday, when we reported that the clubs and the player would get a deal done at the end of the week.
Welcome, Vermaelen! Please don't get hurt and good luck wearing Blaugrana!
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