Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen is desperate to repay manager Arsene Wenger's faith.

The Belgium international is ­grateful for the way Wenger kept faith in him while he was recovering from injury and even persuaded the Arsenal hierarchy to give him a new contract.

Vermaelen told the Sunday Mirror: "I have never known a ­manager so loyal to his players. He shows ­immense trust and has shown incredible loyalty ­towards me.

"I was sidelined for a long time with two nasty injuries. But it was under the orders of the manager that the board gave me a new contract until 2015. I can't ­describe the joy that gave me."

And Vermaelen made it clear how much he is enjoying his football at the club he joined from Ajax for £7.5million three years ago.

"I am fit again and I love my life at Arsenal," he said. ­"Arsene Wenger is a coach who really understands his players. In the most hectic of times, he gives us days off. We really love that. He knows when we need a rest."