The Gunners captain hasn’t featured since picking up an ankle knock against Liverpool at the end of January and was forced to have an anti-inflammatory injection last week in a bid to prevent facing surgery to cure the problem.
The Daily Mail claim the injection seems to have worked as Vermaelen has trained all week without issue and the boss has now suggested he’s ready to gamble on the defenders fitness and start him against Rovers on Saturday afternoon, despite our Champions League last 16 clash with Bayern Munich being just three days away. Wenger said:
‘He [Vermaelen] has not played much recently and he needs some competition.
‘He has had a good rest overall, he is one of the few options I have to play left-back at the moment. It is 90/10 in favour of him being involved against Blackburn.’ Wenger is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail
With Kieran Gibbs injured and Nacho Monreal ineligible, Vermaelen is our only cover at left back to face Bayern next week so it’s a huge gamble on Wenger’s part if indeed Vermaelen starts today.
I understand the need for the skipper to get some minutes under his belt but it’s not like he’s missed a couple of months, it’s only been a couple of weeks, and I personally would be surprised to see the Belgian play today.
It’s too much of a risk. If he breaks down or aggravates the problem he’s definitely out of Tuesday’s game and we’ll be left extremely short of viable options. A back four of Sagna, Mertesacker, Miquel and Monreal should do the job against Blackburn so I say let’s rest Vermaelen and keep him fit for Munich.
What do you think, would you start Vermaelen today? Get involved in the comments section below.