Thomas Vermaelen was today full of adulation for his Arsenal defensive partner Laurent Koscielny.

The French centre-back has this season improved dramatically following a shaky start to his Gunners career and his consistent performances in the heart of defence have not been lost on his Belgian teammate.

"He has done amazing this season," Vermaelen told the club's official website.

"I don't understand why a lot of criticism was there in the first season. The first week I saw him you could tell he was a great player and now it is all coming out in his second season. I am really happy for him.

"He is a great player. I think we know each other's qualities so at the moment it is going well.

"He is good all-round. He is quick, strong and good with the ball.

"I think we are quite similar players as well. There are just a lot of things about defending that he is really good at and that is why I like him."

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