The euphoria surrounding the Emirates following transfer deadline day has well and truly disappeared today with the news Thomas Vermaelen is out for at least a month.
Jack Wilshere’s injury was a big blow to Arsenal’s season but Vermaelen’s blow means he and Per Mertesacker will not be able to join up in the centre of defence until October at the earliest.
Which means Mertesacker will join up with Laurent Koscielny for the foreseeable future and after the start the Frenchman has made to the Premier League season, Arsenal fans won’t be holding out much optimism.
Koscielny has featured in three Arsenal games this season and has been part of a defence that has conceded 10 goals in those three games.
Vermaelen’s injury in Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Udinese in the Champions League saw him miss the 8-2 drubbing at Old Trafford and had the Belgian been playing, it’s fair to believe the Arsenal defence would have functioned a lot better.
Vermaelen made just five appearances for Arsenal last season and this latest injury setback will be a big worry for Arsene Wenger.
After a very strong first season in which Vermaelen made 45 appearances for Arsenal and scored eight goals, the Belgian has managed just nine appearances since and as Arsenal’s most dominant defender, his absence has a big effect on the team.
The purchase of Mertesacker means Arsenal have cover for Vermaelen but cover is not what Arsenal fans were hoping when they signed the German international.
Mertesacker and Vermaelen should be the foundations of an Arsenal defence that can guide the team to yet another fourth place spot.
Arsenal are now 11/8 to finish fourth and a huge 33/1 to win the league, but until Vermaelen and Mertesacker form a solid backline, Arsenal will continue to struggle.