Former Arsenal captain, Thomas Vermaelen, has signed a two-and-a-half year contract with Lukas Podolski’s team in Japan, Vissel Kobe.

Japanese football club Vissel Kobe's new player Thomas Vermaelen of Belgian poses with his new uniform during a press conference at Noevir Stadium in Kobe on July 27, 2019. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP)
Japanese football club Vissel Kobe’s new player Thomas Vermaelen of Belgian poses with his new uniform during a press conference at Noevir Stadium in Kobe on July 27, 2019. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP)

Lukas Podolski and Thomas Vermaelen played together at Arsenal and now the pair will hook up again in Japan with the Belgian finally ending his Barcelona nightmare.

Vermaelen had been linked with a move away this summer and was offered a player-coach role alongside Vincent Kompany at Anderlecht but he turned that down, allegedly for am move to Olympiakos.

That was clearly not true and he’s just signed for Vissel Kobe.

Vermaelen wore the Arsenal armband for two seasons before leaving for Barcelona after five years in London . A great player until he was handed the small bit of cloth, he made only 60 appearances as captain and played just 65 times, averaging 55 minutes per game, since he left for Spain.

“First I would like to say thank you,” Vermaelen told the Vissel Kobe site.

“I am grateful for this occasion and am excited about what is coming.

“I received a very warm welcome here and tons of support. I cannot wait to get started. It is an exciting feeling.

“I will play my part to make this team better. I will give everything. All I do will be to help the team. Hopefully we can all work together to make Vissel Kobe better.

“Thank you.”

Vermaelen turns 34 in November.