Jul 31, 2017
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Could West Brom make a move for Barcelona’s Thomas Vermaelen?

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West Brom are seeking defensive reinforcements before the start of the new season and the latest name being linked will raise excitement levels among supporters.

Sky Sports report that the Baggies are keen on Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen and could be ready to bring the Belgian international back to the Premier League.

There has also been interest from Crystal Palace in the centre-back, who will be allowed to leave the Nou Camp if a reasonable offer is submitted.

It has not been a great spell for Vermaelen at Barcelona, as he has been given few first team opportunities and suffered from numerous injuries.

He was given a loan spell at AS Roma last season, but his injury problems continued and he is now seen as a huge risk in the transfer market.

His best days came as an Arsenal player and it could be that a return to the Premier League is exactly what his career needs to relaunch.

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At the age of 31, there is time left for the Belgian to play at the highest level and he could be a coup for a team such as West Brom, providing he can stay fit.

Would he be a good fit for West Brom?

He would undoubtedly be a great signing for the Baggies as he has played for two massive clubs in Arsenal and Barcelona, in addition to racking up over 50 caps for Belgium.

Vermaelen is a quality player and would instantly be one of the best at the Hawthorns if he was to join.

It would be a signing that excited the fan base and sends a message to the rest of the league that West Brom are ready to target high calibre players.

The doubts about his fitness are a concern, but Pulis has a good record with keeping his players clear from serious injury. It could be a good fit for the defender in that regard.

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In terms of his football, Vermaelen is a confident centre-back, who looks to play out from the back and possesses an excellent passing range for a defender.

After coming through the Ajax academy, he has a certain style that suits him and that is why he was signed by Barcelona in the first place.

They saw him as a player that would fit their style, which could perhaps be considering the opposite to the manner in which West Brom play.

The Baggies are functional under Pulis and look to utilise set pieces as their primary goal threat. Although the Belgian would be a good addition in terms of quality, he wouldn’t be the greatest fit for the system.

How likely is a transfer?

West Brom are in the market for a defender and Vermaelen is available for transfer. If they do have an interest in him, then there is a good chance that a deal can be agreed as he does not have a future at Barcelona.

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However, it could be that the player doesn’t fancy a move to the Hawthorns. The style wouldn’t be the best fit for him and he may prefer to wait for a team that plays a more possession-based game.

The link to Crystal Palace made sense, but nothing has materialised. This one could happen, but both parties could find a better solution for their needs.

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Barcelona · Transfers · West Ham United
Jake Jackman

Jake is a student based in the South East. He is a Newcastle fan and has a keen interest in Dutch football. Jake can be found on Twitter here - @jakejackmann.