Thomas Vermaelen vows to stay and fight for his place at Arsenal, despite transfer rumours linking the captain with an exit

The Belgian international has struggled to break into the side in 2013

Thomas Vermaelen has allayed fears he will seek an exit from Arsenal amid his current struggles to break into the first XI.

With the January transfer window approaching, the club captain has been linked with various other clubs, however he has vowed to stay and fight for his place at the Emirates.

His position has become clearer following his first Premier League start and only his sixth appearance of the season in yesterday’s 1-0 defeat at Manchester United

The Belgian international was only handed his chance after a sickness bug struck Per Mertesacker, who has formed an excellent central defensive partnership with Laurent Koscielny in 2013, during which time no team have collected more points than Arsenal.

He has also struggled to hold down a place at international level with Vincent Kompany and Jan Vertonghen preferred when fit but Vermaelen, who turns 28 on Thursday, according to the Evening Standard claims he is ready to prove himself capable of regular first-team action once again.

Asked if he sees his future at Arsenal, Vermaelen, whose contract expires in 2015, replied: “Yes. At the moment there is no story. I’m not talking about it. It’s now November but any moment things can happen. If they do, I’m ready and I’m not thinking about anything else.

“I can keep talking about my situation. I’ve done that with the national team and I keep on reading stories that I want to leave. But that’s not the case. I’m still focused on the team at the moment and that’s what I want to do. I’m always positive. What I have said is that it is not about my situation but what the team do and I’m really happy that we’re top of the League. Personally I’m still confident I can play for this club and every chance I get I will do a job for this club.”

With Mertesacker and Tomas Rosicky taken sick — Mikel Arteta and Serge Gnabry were also affected but not sufficiently to remove them from the matchday squad — Vermaelen only learned of his inclusion in the starting line-up hours before the game.

Robin van Persie scored the only goal of the game, heading home Wayne Rooney’s 27th-minute corner, but Vermaelen believes he was not affected by his late call-up and urged his team-mates to make better use of the ball; they had 60 per cent possession at Old Trafford as United spent much of the second half on the back foot.

“It wasn’t hard,” he said. “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.”

Van Persie paid tribute to his team and said: “It was a massive win. I always like to think positively but we could have been 11 points behind, which would have been dramatic.

“I don’t think you can beat a team like that with just a couple of individuals playing well. You need to be strong as a team. That is what we did.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible