Arsenal defender Vermaelen grateful to Wenger for backing

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

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.”

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