Arsenal's ex-captain moves to Japan

Arsenal's ex-captain moves to Japan

Former Arsenal captain and Barcelona player Thomas Vermaelen has agreed to move to the Japanse side Vissel Kobe on a free transfer as his contract with the Spanish club expired. And he isn't the only recognizable name in the J-League team.

A team with David Villa, Andres Iniesta, and Lukas Podolski would be a considered a title contender just a few years back. Adding Thomas Vermaelen to the bunch and the team would probably have more impressive names than the majority of Premier League clubs. The Japanese club also has the 24-year-old Barcelona product Sergi Samper in its ranks since March of this year. So Vermaelen has three former teammates in his new team, as he played with Iniesta and Sampar at Nou Camp, and Podolski at Arsenal.

Thomas Vermaelen has signed a contract for two and a half years with Vissel, showing the ambition of the club.

The Belgian centre-back was in Barcelona for four years, but injuries and positional competition has left him with only 53 appearances across all competitions for the Blaugrana. He played for Roma on loan in the 2016/2017 season on 12 occasions.

He started his professional career with Ajax before moving to Arsenal in 2009 where he won just one FA Cup. He did win four La Liga titles in Spain, but had very little to do with them.

David Villa is 37, Iniesta 35, the captain Podolski 34, and Vermaelen is one year younger than the German. They may be old, but are players who were always considered highly professional. Additionally, all four players have skills that are useful even without having peak physicality.

So if you see Kobe on your listings, you would be wise to consider placing a wager on them, especially three or more goals scored per match. That firepower and creativity up front can't be tamed long, and now it has the calmness from the back.


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