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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Vermaelen deal welcome relief for Wenger

The news that Thomas vermaelen has signed a new, long-term contract at Arsenal is a welcome boost for Arsene Wenger after what has been a difficult first two months of the season for the Gunners boss.

Vermaelen's time at the Emirates has been dogged by injury but he showed enough during his first season in the Premier League in 2009-10 to earn a place in the PFA Team of the Season that year and weighed in with eight goals to help the Gunners finish third. Those following the latest football odds will know the side need him to shore up the defence.

He has only managed two Premier League appearances so far this term and Wenger has certainly missed the Belgium international as Arsenal have struggled at the back.
The 8-2 shocker at Manchester United was definitely the low point but other damaging defeats at Blackburn and local rivals Spurs have left many pundits suggesting
they are now the real outsiders among the likes of Tottenham, Liverpool and even Newcastle to secure a top-four finish.

But the imminent return of centre-back Vermaelen will come as a welcome relief and is sure to add solidity to a back-line that has leaked far too many goals this season. People who bet Premier Leauge money should bear this in mind.

Vermaelen's long-term commitment is also a shot in the arm for Wenger, who is still hoping Robin van Persie will follow suit and pen a new deal at some point over the next 12 months.

Wenger knows exactly how important he is to his plans and was delighted with the development.

"Our plan is always to sign top-quality players and with Thomas extending his contract, we have done just that," he said.

"Thomas is a special player, who has always made a huge contribution on the pitch and we are looking forward to him being a part of our future at Arsenal Football Club."

Sunday's 2-1 win over Sunderland has lifted the gloom at the Emirates somewhat and, following Vermaelen's new deal, a win in Marseille in the Champions League will raise the mood further.

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