Arsenal centre-back Thomas Vermaelen says that he is keen to stay at the club and prove that he merits a starting spot, despite rumours that he could leave in January.
The Belgian international has seen his first-team role diluted this season under Arsene Wenger, whose table-topping side have entered battle with Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker as their defensive pairing of choice on most occasions.
Despite being the Gunners’ captain, Vermaelen has been confined to the bench, although he did feature in the weekend loss to Manchester United.
His infrequent opportunities have led to speculation of a January move away from the Emirates Stadium, with a host of Serie A sides thought to be keen.
But, Vermaelen says that he is fully focused on winning back his spot in the Arsenal starting XI:
“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.” He told the Evening Standard.
“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.”
Vermaelen is desperate to a key man for Belgium ahead of the 2014 World Cup, where he is in direct competition with the likes of Vincent Kompany and Jan Vertonghen – who are both expected to be playing regularly for the remainder of the season.
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