Vermaelen expects vital contribution from Arsenal teammate Wilshere

Thomas Vermaelen believes Jack Wilshere will have an important role to play in a crucial three weeks that could go a long way towards defining the season for Arsenal, the Daily Mirrror has reported.

The Gunners are preparing for a period that sees an FA Cup replay against Swansea City at the Emirates Stadium, Premier League meetings with Chelsea and Liverpool and the resumption of the Champions League, with Bayern Munich visiting the Emirates Stadium before the end of February.

Positive results in those fixtures could see Arsenal safely through to the next round of the FA Cup, in a commanding position in the fight to secure Champions League qualification for next season and well-placed to progress to the next stage of this year’s Champions League tournament ahead of a tricky trip to Germany in March.

If results go against Arsene Wenger’s side, however, they could be out of the FA Cup, lagging behind in the league and staring into the face of an exit from European competition, and with it any chance of picking up a first trophy since 2005.

Vermaelen has said that the form of Wilshere will do much to decide which path Arsenal take. He added: “Jack will be important in the next three weeks, absolutely. You can see since he is back he is growing and growing. And I think at the moment he is at a good level.

For me, he is a world-class midfielder and he can only be better because he is only young, coming back from a year injury. So I am really confident he will come back really strong.

There are a lot of big, big fixtures coming up against good teams. They’re coming up really fast.

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