Vermaelen has found himself frozen out this season.
"We have three good centre-backs, we're in a good competition, and that lifts everyone," said Mertesacker.
"We have a good skipper with Thomas Vermaelen, who is at the moment behind us but how he behaves as a skipper to support everyone at this club, that's the main thing for me. We have that team spirit we need. That builds everything."
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