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Vermaelen handling things with great professionalism - Arsenal's Wenger

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has praised Thomas Vermaelen for the way he is handling his current lack of game time.

The Belgian defender, who captained the Gunners last season, is being kept out of the starting line-up by Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny and is being linked with a possible January departure.

But Wenger believes the former Ajax man will stay put in north London and continue fighting for his spot in the Gunners side.

"It's tough to leave Vermaelen out because of his quality, his attitude and his influence at the club," said Wenger.

"It's a difficult decision to make because he is a top-class player. He certainly suffers but he handles it with great dignity and great professionalism.

"I'm not concerned that he might move in January because if he wants to do that he will come and see me, which he has not done."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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