Belgium performs dramatic U-turn after seeking reassurances about his international future.
Unused Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen will still be part of the Belgium squad for next summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil, despite the player’s lack of first-team involvement at the Emirates of late, according to reports in the Daily Mail.
The experienced centre back has barely featured so far this season for the north London club, with Gunners head coach Arsene Wenger instead preferring to go with Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker as his first-choice central defenders.
As a result, Vermaelen has been used as just a bit-part player by the Frenchman to date, with the 27-year-old having featured in three matches in total for Arsenal since the start of the campaign, only one of which came in the Premier League.
However, the Belgium international has now been reassured by national team manager Marc Wilmots that he will still keep his place in his squad travelling to Brazil for next summer’s Fifa World Cup, the first that the team from the Low Countries have qualified for since France 98.
And that means that the Gunners skipper will not now try to force through a move away from the capital when the winter transfer window reopens in January, as had previously been reported, with Vermaelen instead staying to fight to win back his place in defence.