Arsenal news: 'Thomas Vermaelen is suffering on the bench - but he has not asked for a move,' says Arsene Wenger

Arsenal captain has started only one Premier League match this season

Thomas Vermaelen may be “suffering” because of his omission from the Arsenal side, but manager Arsene Wenger claims he is no rush to sell his club captain and the centre-back has not asked for a transfer, according to the Evening Standard.

The Belgian has started only one Premier League match this season, losing his place owing to the flourishing partnership of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny, but Wenger says Vermaelen has handled the situation in a “professional” manner.

Arsenal face Hull City at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday, and Wenger said today that he will ring in the changes, with a gruelling seven matches to play this month.

“In every single game I rotate [but] I try to limit the number because I do not want to disrupt the balance of the team so I do that in every single game,” he said.

“I rotate considering the level of fatigue. We have some indications: my eyes, some objective data and as well of course some positions where it’s more demanding on the physical front than others.

“I don’t know if Vermaelen will play. I haven’t decided yet. It is tough to leave him out because of his quality, because of his attitude and because of his influence at the club, of course. It is a difficult decision because he is a top class player.

“He certainly suffers but he handles it with great dignity and great professionalism.”

Asked if he was concerned Vermaelen could agitate for a move in January, Wenger replied: “No because if he wants to do that he will come and see me which he has not done.”

Wenger’s decision to rotate was forced in one respect by a slight hamstring injury to Bacary Sagna, meaning Carl Jenkinson will deputise against Steve Bruce’s newly-promoted side.

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