New Delhi: The failure to get former Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen in the summer transfer window, served as a major boost for Manchester United. Louis van Gaal who had identified the Belgian as a key target, joined Barcelona instead for GBP 15m. Since then the versatile defender hasn't featured for the Catalan giants so far and is out until towards the end of the season.
According to reports, Vermaelen is expected to miss months of football due to forthcoming surgery on a hamstring problem.
The Spanish giants posted the news on social micro-blogging site, Twitter that Vermaelen will undergo a surgery next week in Finland.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) November 28, 2014
Vermaelen, who had signed a five-year deal from Arsenal in the summer, had sustained it in the 1-0 victory against Russia at the FIFA World Cup in June.
"Thomas Vermaelen will undergo surgery on the injured muscle in his right leg. The procedure will be carried out by Sakari Orava next Tuesday in Finland," a club statement read Thursday.
This in turn has done wonders to United who failed to get his signature. The English giants who have themselves been badly hit by injuries, signed Marcos Rojo instead in the summer from Sporting Lisbon. Rojo who became a regular feature in the United team suffered a dislocated shoulder against Manchester City back in November. He is supposed to make a return in December and has already come back to training.
But the prospect of missing out on a key player (Vermaelen) who will be out for a long time, will at least please Louis van Gaal.
The 29-year-old will need around four to five months to recover.