Wenger feels tide turning

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger insists Thomas Vermaelen's commitment to the club dispels the myth players aren't happy at The Emirates Stadium.

The Belgian defender signed a new deal with the club until 2015, one of many players the club hope will commit their long-term future to the club.

After the departure of Gael Clichy, Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas fears were rife that the 25-year-old would be the next player to leave The Gunners' ranks, but Wenger says the new deal proves the club have recovered from their summer exodus.

"It gives a different message," Wenger said. "It looked like an exodus with everyone leaving the club but we are a happy club.

"We have not had the start to the season we wanted, but inside the atmosphere at the club is very solid, very united and very positive.

"We want to turn results round and the fact that players are extending their contracts at this point is positive for us.


"I had no basic doubt. We had the desire to extend and we were quite relaxed that he would sign. But anyway for me, we have a strong central defence."

Vermaelen's recent injury problems saw him feature just five times for Arsenal last season, and not since August this term but Wenger maintains the new contract isn't a gamble.

"There's no medical reason why he should not play 50 games on the trot now," he added.

"I always was a bit suspicious - why should that happen only on one side? I thought at some stage the other side will come as well, and it did.

"This (contract) shows how much we trust him. We think it's a genetic accident what he had, because he had it on both sides, exactly the same injury.

While the likes of Robin Van Persie and Theo Walcott are stalling over new deals, Wenger says that he's ready to see out the remainder of his contract, which expires in 2015.

"I have three years to go with Arsenal and I always respect my contract."

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Thomas Vermaelen
Premier League

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