Rumours are circulating that former Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen could be heading back to the Premier League.
The Belgian has been linked with a surprise move to Everton, according to a Spanish newspaper. The centre-half moved to Barcelona at the start of the season but has still not made his debut. Vermaelen has struggled with a string of injuries and it looks like he could be on his way out during the summer.
A fee has not been announced for Vermaelen, but it is unlikely the Catalan giants will get back the £15million they paid the Gunners for him in the summer.
It is thought they are ready to cut their losses for the defender, who is lined up as a replacement for 37-year-old centre-back Sylvain Distin, or 32-year-old Antolin Alcaraz. The duo are out of contract in the summer and Martinez has made it clear he will not decide on their future until the campaign is over. Their futures could be decided for them if Vermaelen shows a serious interest in coming to Goodison Park.
[ffc-gal cat=”everton” no=”5″]
The Toffees have struggled in defence all season but it looks unlikely that John Stones or Phil Jagielka will leave in the summer, leaving a lot of competition for places at the back but, after a dismal season for Everton, the gaffer wants to spend money and time making sure the team are back in the fights for European places next summer.
Whilst Barcelona are wanting to get rid of Vermaelen due to his hamstring troubles, they may be interested in keeping him as a back-up until the January transfer window.
The club were hit with a transfer ban for the whole of 2015 due to too high spending on players. This means that while they can let players leave the club they cannot bring anyone in. Vermaelen can be sold by Barca but they wouldn’t be able to sign a replacement until January 2016 which could prove to be a risky move.
The former Arsenal captain spent a lot of the season in Finland having surgery on his troublesome right thigh, which was only one of a number of injury problems he has suffered with throughout the season.
It seems the Belgian is far from fit and if they are getting a player who has struggled with injuries all season, what is to say that he won’t do the same at Everton. The Toffees have suffered with a shocking amount of injuries this season with 22 different cases of hamstring problems just in the time of Martinez being manager.
According to a poll conducted by The Daily Mirror, 62 per cent of fans would love to see Vermaelen at Goodison Park, but it seems like a transfer that could bring with it a lot of risk. While Everton are not going to spend the £15m Barca gave Arsenal they will still need to pay a few million.
Vermaelen may have been a fantastic player in his time but for Everton the last thing they need is more injury worries.
Everton need to put this season behind them and signing an injury prone player into an injury prone squad is not the way forward.