• Premier League

Vermaelen: I still have Arsenal future

ESPN staff
November 11, 2013 « Welbeck and Carrick withdraw from England squad | Chartbeat test »
Thomas Vermaelen replaced Per Mertesacker in Arsenal's starting line-up at Old Trafford © Getty Images
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Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen is sure he still has a future at the club, despite having found himself on the substitutes' bench for the majority of the season.

Vermaelen, 27, made his first Premier League start of the campaign for Arsenal in Sunday's 1-0 defeat at Manchester United as he partnered Laurent Koscielny in the centre of defence.

His chance, though, only came about after Per Mertesacker picked up a sickness bug just before the game. However, Vermaelen insists he still has a role to play for Arsene Wenger's side this term.

"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.

"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."

Robin van Persie once again scored against his former club, as Arsenal saw their lead at the top of the Premier League slip from five points to two.

Vermaelen did not feel that his own late inclusion in the team had a negative impact, however, as he said he was fully prepared to play anyway.

"It wasn't hard. 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," he said.

"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."

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