Thomas Vermaelen joins Japanese club Vissel Kobe

Former Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen has joined Japanese club Vissel Kobe.

The 33-year-old Belgium international’s contract at Barcelona had expired last month.

His move to Japan was announced on Vissel Kobe’s official website, and it is understood that Vermaelen has signed for the remainder of the current season and another two more.

Vermaelen began his career at Ajax before joining in Arsenal in 2009, where he made 152 appearances in five years.

He made the move to Barcelona in the summer of 2014, but injuries limited his game-time in Spain.

Vermaelen made 53 appearances for Barcelona and spent the 2016-17 season on loan at Serie A club Roma.

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