Thomas Vermaelen suffers injury setback; wait until next season to make Barcelona debut

Thomas Vermaelen has suffered a setback in his bid to make his Barcelona debut before the end of the season.

The defender who Barcelona bought from Arsenal in the summer for £15million is yet to start for his new club and needed surgery in Finland on a thigh problem last December.

He was back in light training with Barca physio Xavi Linde but has had to stop because of muscle pain.

Barcelona’s then sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta was sacked in January in part for his failure to sort the club’s central defensive shortage.

He signed the Belgium international despite his terrible luck with injuries in the previous two years and the fact that he arrived injured after he suffered problems with his right hamstring during the World Cup.

On the day of his presentation Zubizarreta said the player was ready to perform immediately and that he had no concerns over his fitness but despite playing in a friendly alongside Luis Suarez against the Indonesia Under 19 team in September, he broke down again in November.

Even when the club decided he would need surgery they maintained that the player could make it back before the end of the season. The latest setback puts that return date in doubt.

Credit: Pete Jenson/SportsMail