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Arsenal Transfer Target: Jan Vertonghen

Ajax defender Jan Vertonghen could be linking up with former team-mate Vermaelen if he joins Arsenal. We look at the player and how he’d fit in at the Emirates.

Ajax defender Jan Vertonghen could be linking up with his countryman and former team-mate Vermaelen if he joins Arsenal. The 24-year-old has made comments about playing in the Premier League and Wenger may be interested in someone that can help strengthen Arsenal’s defence. The Belgium player would cost Arsenal £10m, a small price considering his connection with Vermaelen. They have played together at Ajax and in the Belgium national team. He has played 133 (16 goals) matches for Ajax since 2006. And has 33 (2 goals) caps the Belgium national team. But is he the right player for Arsenal?

Arsenal have conceded 22 goals in 12 Premier League matches. That’s worrying. Arsenal doesn’t have a lot of choices for the defence. German international Per Mertesacker was signed to beef up the defence, and he’s doing okay, but when Thomas Vermaelen is injured the Gunners look very weak at the back. Laurent Koscielny is improving, but isn’t a world-class centre-back yet. He can also play as right-back which is great but only if needed. Johan Djourou has been struggling to put a run of form together. We don’t have a lot of options for the right- and left-back positions either. Kieran Gibbs is injured a lot and Bacary Sagna is still injured as we speak. Carl Jenkinson is a very talented player but is also injured. All we have on the left is André Santos. He is playing ‘okay’ but you can see he is still adapting to the English style of football. Vertonghen can play as a left-back, a centre-back or as a defensive midfielder.

Jan Vertonghen is highly-rated and has been linked with various clubs the past two seasons. He is left-footed, good on the ball, and versatile. As I said he can play as a left-back, a centre-back or even as a defensive midfielder. As our defense is vulnerable and with Song we only have one reliable defensive midfielder, it’s no suprise Wenger is interested in the Belgium international. And at 6’4″, he would have no trouble fighting the strikers in the Premier League. Stoke City away? No problem for Jan!

Will Arsenal be able to sign the Belgium star? These are Vertonghen’s exact words: “If I could make the step then I would prefer to play in a footballing team but I won’t go to a club where I am given the task to play the long ball”. And he said before that he wouldn’t mind playing for Arsenal, in fact, it would be his ‘dream’.  £10m is a very small price for such class player. Though I do think Arsenal will have to pay more than  £10m, just because Ajax aren’t stupid. I think the price could even raise to  £20m, but that would be a lot. Even though Vertonghen is a very important player for Ajax (he was handed the Ajax captaincy after Maarten Stekelenburg left for AS Roma), I’m pretty sure Frank de Boer wouldn’t mind a bag of money from Arsenal. So if Arsenal are in fact going for Vertonghen in January, the deal is most likely to happen because both Vertonghen and Ajax would love the deal to happen.

I think Vertonghen would be a great signing. He isn’t a world-class player yet, but he’s only 24-years old and if he would train with the Gunners daily he would obviously improve a lot. He is versatile and that’s exactly what Wenger needs. IF Arsenal are keen on signing a defender, I would definitely go for Vertonghen. I’d pick him above Samba or Cahill every day. I would be very happy if Arsenal signed him in January.

If you want to find out more about Vertonghen, check out these two videos:



  1. Aussie Jack

    November 24, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    My feeling is Vermaelen and Vertongen are like antique book ends, together they treble the value. Koscieny is improving all the time but watching Mertesacker to me is like watching some one from the 1950`s. Stands there like a statue, rarely moves and plays one of two options, forward to the nearest midfielder or back to the keeper. I stll say he was a political appointment done in a panic, Wenger did not buy him on merit.

    • anon

      November 25, 2011 at 2:46 am

      You’re so wrong! Per’s technique is highly underappreciated. His physical tools aren’t the greatest but he relies more on his positioning and anticipation which nullifies most threats before they become worrisome. But this is football and you can’t plan every bounce of the ball. Occassionally he will get caught out when he has to make a purely athletic move. Overall he’s an excellent player to have on the team but ideally suited as a rotational player off the bench and someone the younger players can learn from.

  2. Daveyboy

    November 25, 2011 at 8:52 am

    I agree. I’d rather have per in the squad at this time than not. He adds height and calmness. He’s obviously not in the team for pace. Vamaelan and koscielny r there for that. I think per will improve over time, considering he has only played in the premier league for 2-3 months. On another front, Andre santos needs to improve his fitness. He had a good game against Dortmund. He has good skills but dodgy positioning at times. Wish he had clichy’s energy getting up and down the pitch. But santos adds goals which is good. All in all, I’m happy Arsenal are on the rise. Well done Arsene.

  3. Pingback: Thomas Vermaelen: Arsenal’s rotation policy at centre-back is healthy competition – |

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