Barcelona manager Luis Enrique made a happy announcement on Monday during his pre-match press conference for Tuesday’s La Liga match against Getafe.
Former Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen is finally close to his Barca debut, and could even make the squad on Tuesday.
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The 29-year-old Belgian center back joins a unit which has conceded just 19 goals in La Liga play, the best total in the league by six goals. The runners-up, Valencia, has played one less match.
He returned to training in March and was declared fully fit on Sunday although boss Luis Enrique did not say if he might face Getafe on Tuesday.
“It’s very good news for him and for the team,” Enrique said.
“Now he needs to get into the right rhythm. Of course he’ll help us, let’s see whether that is on or off the pitch.”
Only fellow UEFA Champions League semifinalists Bayern Munich and Juventus have allowed fewer goals than Barcelona across the five top leagues of Europe. How Vermaelen fits into the equation will be an interesting one to monitor, but the Blaugranas are even stronger for the stretch run of La Liga and the UCL.