Football

Wenger reveals Vermaelen's Arsenal torment

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Arsene Wenger admits Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen is tormented by his current lack of playing time, but says he does not expect the defender to push for a January transfer, reports the London Evening Standard.

The Belgium international began the 2013/14 campaign sidelined by injury, and has seen first-team opportunities limited since his return, due to the fine form of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.

Vermaelen's only Premier League start this season came in the Gunners' 1-0 defeat at the hands of reigning champions Manchester United, but the 28-year-old remains determined to stay and fight for his place at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal take on Hull City in tomorrow night's midweek encounter, and though Wenger intimated he would rotate some of his squad, he refused to confirm whether or not Vermaelen would start on Wednesday evening.

"In every single game I rotate [but] I try to limit the number because I do not want to disrupt the balance of the team so I do that in every single game," explained the Frenchman.

"I rotate considering the level of fatigue. We have some indications: my eyes, some objective data and as well of course some positions where it's more demanding on the physical front than others.

"I don't know if Vermaelen will play. I haven't decided yet. It is tough to leave him out because of his quality, because of his attitude and because of his influence at the club, of course. It is a difficult decision because he is a top class player.

"He certainly suffers but he handles it with great dignity and great professionalism."

However, Vermaelen appeared a little more uncertain when recently quizzed on his current club predicament while away on international duty, suggesting that he might be forced to consider his options if he continues to be frozen out in north London.

Asked specifically if he was concerned the centre-back could push for a move away in the January transfer window, Wenger replied: "No because if he wants to do that he will come and see me which he has not done."

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Arsenal
Thomas Vermaelen

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