We don’t like to toot our own horn around here, but yesterday we talked about Thomas Vermaelen being very close to Roma, and, well, here we are; Sky Sports reports that Roma and Barcelona have reached an agreement for the 30-year-old defender, one which will see Vermaelen move to Roma on loan with an option to buy, though the exact cost remains up for debate.
As far as the particulars are concerned, Vermaelen will move to Roma for an initial €2 million loan fee, with the Giallorossi preferring an €8 million buyout next summer, while Barcelona remain adamant in their desire to get a total of €14 million for the Belgian. It is widely speculated that the two sides will meet in the middle, with Roma handing over €10 million next summer; that’s a total of €12 million for the mathematically challenged.
With respect to the player himself, Roma has apparently reached a three-year accord with Vermaelen, one that will pay him roughly €3 million per season, including an option for a fourth year. Given his continual slide down the Barcelona ladder, this is a great move for Vermaelen, as he should (if healthy) see significant minutes with Roma, even after Mario Rui and Antonio Rüdiger return from their own injuries.
If nothing else, Roma will be a petri dish for orthopaedic surgeons and physical therapists, but what has Roma just obtained?
Vermaelen, as we mentioned, is 30-years-old and comes to Roma after stints with Ajax, Arsenal and Barcelona. Vermaelen stands roughly six feet tall and is equipped with a deft left foot, one that enables him to excel in the passing game. Beyond his skill on the ball, Vermaelen is effective in the air and, at his peak, was a six to seven goal scorer with Arsenal, so if Roma can ever settle on a free kick taker in their Post-Pjanic world, Vermaelen could be a lethal weapon on set pieces.
We’ll pass along more information as it becomes available, but given his skill set, you have to like this gamble. However, make no mistake, Roma are walking a thin line here; Vermaelen could be an excellent addition or a completely sunken cost, so let’s hope his Euro 2016 form carries through the fall.