Vermaelen returns to Arsenal squad

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Thomas Vermaelen will be included in Arsenal's squad for the visit to Chelsea this weekend, but according to Arsene Wenger isn't a guarded starter.

The Belgian centre-back is yet to feature in the Barclays Premier League since August after an Achillies injury, while he missed most of last season due to injury as well.

But after making his return in the Carling Cup against Bolton Wanderers, Vermaelen looks set to make his league return against Chelsea, but his manager is less positive about his chances.

"We had good news about Vermaelen in the game against Bolton the other night," he said.

"It was just cramp [that forced him to come off] so that's good news. He will certainly be in the squad at Chelsea.

"I don’t know yet whether he will start, I have to think about that. I feel physically he is not completely ready because he had problems to finish the game against Bolton, but he is close.

"We play two games in three days and I will have to evaluate the whole situation. But Thomas always wants to play."

Wenger is also pragmatic about the progress of Carl Jenkinson, who picked up a knee injury during the win over Marseille earlier this month.

With Bacary Sagna also on the sidelines, Johan Djourou is being forced to fill in at right-back.

On Jenkinson, Wenger said: "I will know more after training on Friday. Jenkinson was alright yesterday, but I don't know if I will take him or not. It depends how well he does in training today."

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Thomas Vermaelen
Premier League

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