Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Vermaelen signs new Gunners deal

Thomas Vermaelen

Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen has signed a new long-term contract with the club, the Gunners have confirmed on their official website.

The Belgium international, who has endured an injury-ravaged two and a half years with the club since joining from Ajax in the summer of 2009, is understood to have agreed to stay at the Emirates Stadium until 2015.

"I am really happy to have signed a new contract with Arsenal. I always had the intention to stay here. I feel there is a big belief in me from the club, from the boss and from the fans and that is one of the reasons why I stayed," he told www.arsenal.com.

The captain of his national side, Vermaelen enjoyed a memorable first season with Arsenal, weighing in with eight goals on his way to earning a place in the Professional Footballers Association Team of the Season.

However, an Achilles injury suffered while away with Belgium would eventually sideline him for the majority of last season, with futher treatment meaning he has yet to figure during this campaign.

But, with full fitness now approaching, the 25-year-old is delighted to have secured his future.

He added: "Arsenal is a fantastic club. We have great supporters, we're doing well financially and we are playing with some quality young players now and they will develop, which is very good for the future."

Manager Arsene Wenger was equally thrilled with the news, adding: "We are absolutely delighted that Thomas has signed a new long-term contract.

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

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