Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen has revealed he turned down an offer to join Tottenham Hotspur before moving to the Emirates Stadium during the summer.
The 24-year-old joined the Gunners from Dutch giants Ajax for a fee believed to be around £10 million and has been an instant hit following a string of impressive performances for his new club.
Vermaelen has proved to be a strong presence in the centre of Arsenal’s defence, and has chipped in with five goals as Arsene Wenger’s side have defied their critics and maintained a genuine title challenge.
The former Ajax captain, however, admits he could have been playing in the Premier League three years ago at White Hart Lane after receiving an offer from the Gunners’ bitter rivals.
“Three years ago I had an offer from, yes, Tottenham,” he said in the News of the World.
“But for me, that was too soon.”
The Belgium international starred in Arsenal’s 2-1 victory at beleaguered Liverpool on Sunday as Wenger’s men closed the gap on leaders Chelsea to six points.
Vermaelen admits he was not expecting a move to England, but was swayed by the club’s ambitions and is confident the Gunners can end their long wait for silverware this season.
“In fact, in the summer, I was a bit surprised when my agent got the call from Arsenal,” he added.
“I had planned to stay for another year at Ajax. But when I heard the vision I wanted to be part of it.
“If we don’t get the trophy this year we can next year playing a special way. That is the vision.”comments