In Focus: Everton unlikely to return for Vermaelen after blocked summer move

According to an interview with Belgian media outlet Derniere Heure, Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen has revealed that he was denied the chance to return to the Premier League with Everton during the summer.

What’s the word, then?

Well, speaking while on international duty with Belgium, the former Arsenal defender told Derniere Heure that he wanted to leave the Camp Nou during the summer following a season-long loan spell with AS Roma, but the La Liga giants told him he couldn’t leave.

The 31-year-old listed the Toffees and Anderlecht as two of the interested clubs, and now he has been left in a situation where he isn’t being picked to play for the first team and isn’t allowed to play for Barcelona B either because he hasn’t been registered, which has left him in the limbo.

Everton boss Ronald Koeman had said during the summer that he wanted to bring an experienced left-sided centre-back, who could also cover at left-back, to Goodison Park to cover for the injured Ramiro Funes Mori and it is no surprise that they have been named as one of the teams keen on the Belgian.

How did he do during his loan spell with Roma?

Having made just 21 appearances in all competitions in his first two seasons with Barcelona because of injury, Vermaelen moved to the Italian capital on loan last term.

However, it wasn’t really a fruitful spell as another injury hindered his chances of breaking into the first team and he was often left on the substitutes’ bench.

The 31-year-old returned to Spain having made just 12 outings in total, and he would have been keen to secure a permanent move elsewhere.

Will Everton still be interested in the New Year?

It’s difficult to say.

With Funes Mori likely to be out of action until after the January transfer window has closed and with the Toffees struggling at the back in the early stages of the season it could be an option.

However, Vermaelen certainly wouldn’t be the younger defender they perhaps need considering they already have Leighton Baines, Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka in the backline, and his lack of game time and injury record would also be a big concern.