Vermaelen says Arsenal pal Van Persie in good spirits

Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen has noticed no differences in the behaviour of teammate Robin van Persie.

Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen has noticed no differences in the behaviour of teammate Robin van Persie.

Vermaelen does not believe the speculation or reception from the Gunners' supporters in Germany have had a negative effect on the striker, who scored 37 goals last season.

"To me he looks fit and sharp in training," said Vermaelen.

"He's working hard. He's working on his fitness. I don't see anything (different) and I hope he stays the next four years as well.

"I don't know what happens behind the scenes but at the moment I can only say he's a player for Arsenal.

"I feel really positive for the new season. If we all stay fit, the squad is strong enough to compete for the title."

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