Former Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen is finally fit and playing games again following a frustrating first year in Spain.

The centre-half moved to Barcelona in the summer of 2014 but thigh issues saw him make just one appearance for the Spanish giants during his first Camp Nou season. Now in September of his second campaign, the Belgian has played three games and over 200 minutes more than in the whole of last season.

Now former Arsenal team-mate and Barcelona academy graduate Ignasi Miquel has praised the Belgian, who he believes has everything it takes to succeed at such a huge club.

“I am not surprised,” Miquel said of Vermaelen’s good performances. “He is a great player, I hope he soon comes back to his great level.”

When Gerard Piqué and Javier Mascherano are both available Vermaelen is unlikely to play very often but, at a club that will be looking to defend the Champions League, La Liga, Copa del Rey as well as adding the Club World Championship in the winter he is sure to get a fair few opportunities, should he stay fit.

“Power and aggressiveness on defence, very English,” Miquel said of his former captain’s style.

“Vermaelen is a leader in the dressing room and get into the required rhythm when Mascherano and Pique need a break.”

The La Liga season has started with two wins for Barcelona and Vermaelen, who scored the only goal in the season opener against Athletic Club. It’s nice to see the defender fit again at last, hopefully he can now make a success of his time in Spain.

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