Thomas Vermaelen is confident that manager Arsene Wenger’s decision to sell Gael Clichy was the right one, with the club having a world-class replacement in Kieran Gibbs.

Vermaelen, who spent the majority of last season on the treatment table, is excited about the prospect of playing alongside Gibbs this season.

“I think Kieran is a really talented player,” Vermaelen said. “I played a few games with him in my first year and he impressed me a lot. He’s a fit player, he can run a lot, he’s a technical player as well. He has all the qualities to be a world class full back.”

The Belgian international played in just five matches for the first team last season after an Achilles injury suffered while on international duty.


The Achilles injury was meant to keep Vermaelen out of the Arsenal lineup until January, however he suffered an injury setback that pushed his return back two months.

In March, Wenger announced that Vermaelen had suffered another setback and would miss the rest of the season. The 25-year-old made his comeback on May 15 against Aston Villa and played in the season finale against Fulham as well.

After such a tough season, Vermaelen will be eager for a fresh start this year.

“Everybody starts from zero and everybody has to start again,” he said. “The past is behind us and it’s good to look into the future.

“That’s what we do now – we start all over again with a new chance and we will go for it this year.”

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