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Arsenal sign Belgium international defender Vermaelen

Thomas Vermaelen has joined Arsenal from Ajax on a long-term contract for an undisclosed fee. "Thomas is a great signing for Arsenal, and we are all delighted that he is joining us," the Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said. "Thomas is a solid performer with good experience of Champions League and Uefa Cup football and is also a regular with the Belgium national team.

"Thomas is primarily a left-footed centre-back, but he's multi-functional and can also play at left-back. He is strong technically with a positive winner's attitude and I have no doubt his arrival will strengthen our team. Thomas Vermaelen will be a huge asset to Arsenal."

After completing his move, the 23 year old said: "Firstly, I have to say that I'm sad to be leaving Ajax and I would just like to thank everyone for their help and friendship towards me over the past eight years.

"I'm just so happy to be joining Arsenal. This is a great club with a world-class manager, high-quality players and a fantastic stadium. Everything is set up for Arsenal to be very successful for years to come and I joined this club because I know Arsenal will be challenging for trophies."

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