Premier League

Vermaelen named Arsenal skipper

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Thomas Vermaelen has been named the new captain of Arsenal in the wake of Robin van Persie's move to Manchester United.

Emirates Stadium manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed the centre-back will skipper the club and midfielder Mikel Arteta will serve as his deputy.

There had been speculation Wenger could have turned to injury-plagued England international Jack Wilshere but he has instead named Vermaelen.

The Belgium international has himself struggled with a variety of injuries since arriving at Arsenal in the summer of 2009.

But Wenger has faith in the centre-back, as he said at a press conference ahead of Saturday's Premier League season opener: "It is Vermaelen and Arteta.

"Vermaelen was vice-captain, so it is a quick decision. I think we have many potential captains in the squad but at the moment it will be like that."

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