Vermaelen could miss Arsenal tour through injury

Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen has been dealt an injury blow before the new season even gets underway, the Daily Mail has reported, as the defender has not yet recovered from a back injury suffered in May.

Vermaelen aggravated the problem playing in May for Belgium and, combined with the slight thigh injury he is also carrying, has yet to begin pre-season training. Vermaelen has endured regular back injuries and his current ailment threatens his chances of re-establishing himself in Arsene Wenger’s first XI, the newspaper claims.

Towards the end of last season Wenger favoured a pairing of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker at the heart of the Gunners’ defence, pushing Vermaelen onto the sidelines. And now it is expected Vermaelen will remain in England for treatment while his teammates travel to the Far East to play an Indonesia XI on Sunday.

Vermaelen moved to the Emirates Stadium in 2009, having previously played for Dutch club Ajax. Named captain after Robin van Persie’s departure a year ago, Vermaelen has played 129 times for Arsenal, scoring 15 goals.

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