Vermaelen confident of Arsenal future

Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen is sure he has a future at the Premier League leaders, ESPN has reported, despite spending most of the season as a substitute, with manager Arsene Wenger preferring to pair Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker in the centre of defence.

Vermaelen had to wait until the weekend just gone for his first league start of the campaign as Wenger was forced into reshuffling his defence when illness affected the camp, ruling out Mertesacker as the Gunners travelled to Old Trafford to meet Manchester United. Arsenal lost the match by a single Robin van Persie goal but remain two points clear at the top of the table, and five better off than United, who are fifth.

Having had another taste of first team action, Vermaelen is confident he can get more before the end of the season and rejected suggestions he would leave the Emirates Stadium in January. “ I’m still confident I can play for this club,” he said.

I keep reading stories that I want to leave. But that’s not the case. I’m still focused on the team. I am always positive,” Vermaelen added. “In any case, it is not about my situation. It’s what the team do and I am really happy that we’re top of the league.

Vermaelen also denied that that the short notice at which he returned to the team was a factor in his performance or Arsenal’s defeat. “It wasn’t hard,” he insisted. “I go into every game ready to play. I always make sure I’m mentally ready and physically ready to play, so it wasn’t difficult.

I knew it could happen at any moment so I’m always ready. I’ve been saying it for weeks and months and all of a sudden it happened.

Vermaelen moved to Arsenal from Ajax in 2009, having come through the academy at the Amsterdam club. He has made 137 appearances under Wenger, scoring 15 goals.

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