Robert Fernandez backs former Gunner to succeed at Barcelona
Barcelona sporting director Robert Fernandez has insisted that Belgium defender Thomas Vermaelen could contribute for the club during the ongoing campaign.
The 31-year-old joined the Catalan giants from Arsenal back in the summer of 2014, and has since spent most of his time on the sidelines through injuries.
Vermaelen had been linked with a potential return to the Premier League with Everton, West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace keen on his services, but move could not go through.
As a result, the versatile defender is stuck with the Camp Nou outfit for the year at least, but Fernandez backs the Belgian to succeed under new boss Ernesto Valverde.
"Vermaelen? He didn't get many minutes at Roma and struggled with injuries, but he has lot of quality. We have a lot of faith in him. The coach was also very happy with him during pre-season," he is quoted as saying by Ecodiario.
The Belgian has managed just 11 league appearances for Barcelona to date, and his chances of becoming a regular remain bleak with the likes of Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti and Javier Mascherano ahead of him in the pecking order.
Other than that, he could expect some playing time in the Copa del Rey - the sole title, the club won during an average 2016/17 season.