Arsenal legend Lee Dixon has told club-captain Thomas Vermaelen to stay at the club and fight for his place.

The Belgian international rarely featured towards the end of last season as a partnership was formed between Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker for the final 10 games of the season.

This was a period which saw the Gunners go unbeaten and only concede on four occasions.

Vermaelen was used as a left-back at times as well throughout the season after Kieran Gibbs' and Andre Santos' injuries.

After several poor performances and then a derby defeat to Tottenham, Vermaelen finally lost his place in the starting line-up when Arsenal played Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

With talk of Arsenal trying to sign Swansea City's Ashley Williams, many have suggested that the Belgian centre-back may leave the club, but legend Lee Dixon believes he should stay and fight for his place back.

“I think he [Vermaelen] should stay and fight for his place,” Dixon told Sky Sports News. “We are now starting to see the fruits of (defensive coach) Steve Bould’s work over this last year.

“They were a lot more solid towards the end of the season and I think he can benefit from that because he’s a great defender but as a team defender I think he’s got things to learn and that’s where Steve’s knowledge will be utilised.”


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