Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen has spoken out about his situation at Camp Nou and revealed that the club would not allow him to leave during the summer transfer window despite offers from other teams in Europe.
Vermaelen joined Barcelona from Arsenal in 2014 for a fee of 19 million euros but has made just 21 appearances for the club after suffering a string of injuries and spent last season on loan at Roma. “I can’t even play for Barcelona B, where I could pick up a bit of form, because Spanish regulations don’t allow for it; it’s a lamentable situation,” Vermaelen said in an interview with Derniere Heure.
Vermaelen: "The club told me that I had to stay"
Currently on international duty with Belgium, the defender said he had asked to leave during the summer amid interest from Anderlecht and Everton: “The club told me that I had to stay despite inquiries from several clubs.”
Belgium have already qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and Vermaelen hopes that he can get some playing time under his belt with the Red Devils. “I’d like to play more to get some rhythm with the national team. It would be a positive step if I could go back to Barcelona with some minutes under my belt so they can see that I’m ready,” Vermaelen said of his injury woes and lack of match fitness.
“I have spoken to the coach [Ernesto Valverde] and the club is happy with the way I am training. Obviously at a club like Barcelona three central defenders are not enough. You need four or five. With an injury or a suspension you can find yourself back in the squad. Things can change quickly, it’s not going well for me at the moment but next week everything could be different.”