Thomas Vermaelen

FC Barcelona and Arsenal FC have reached an agreement for the transfer of Belgian player Thomas Vermaelen. He joins the Catalans on a five-year deal.

He has been at the Gunners for six seasons, but came up through the ranks at Ajax Amsterdam, as well as spending one year on loan to RKC Waalwijk.

Imposing leader

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.