Another season, another injury for Thomas Vermaelen, who has been ruled out for up to six weeks after picking up a hamstring problem while with Belgium.

The Barcelona defender, who is still only 32 despite it feeling like he was that age when he left Arsenal 20 years ago, has struggled with injuries since leaving Arsenal, his DNA more north London than Catalan it seems.

Last season, Vermaelen suffered six separate injuries, sidelining him for a total of 95 days/14 games. He picked up his latest injury in the second half of his side’s 2-1 win over a Granit Xhaka-captained Switzerland.

thomas vermaelen belgium v switzerland
Belgium’s midfielder Thomas Vermaelen (L) vies with Switzerland’s midfielder Denis Zakaria (R) during the UEFA Nations League football match between Belgium and Switzerland, at the King Baudouin Stadium, in Brussels, on October 12, 2018. (Photo by JOHN THYS / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)

Although I joked earlier, it has only been four years since Vermaelen left to sit in the Barcelona treatment room, but it certainly feels like a lifetime ago. Some things, however, seem destined never to change.

“Tests carried out this morning confirm that first team player Thomas Vermaelen has a right hamstring injury,” Barcelona said in a statement. “He will be sidelined for approximately six weeks.”

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.