Thomas Vermaelen maintains Arsenal must put the departure of Robin van Persie behind them and focus on mounting a sustained assault on the Barclays Premier League.

The former Gunners skipper is on his way to Manchester United to finalise the formalities of a £24million switch to Old Trafford, and Belgian defender Vermaelen insists everyone must put the disappointment of losing Van Persie to one side as they prepare for Saturday's kick-off against Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium.

The defender, who is now likely to inherit the captain's armband from the Dutch striker, told Sky Sports News: "He was fantastic for us in the last year, scored lots of goals and I am disappointed he is going, but we have to focus on the next season with Arsenal."

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