Vermaelen named Arsenal captain

Emirates Stadium manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed the

26-year-old centre-back will skipper the club and midfielder Mikel

Arteta will serve as his deputy.

Vermaelen succeeds Van Persie as Arsenal’s captain as the

Dutchman is expected to complete a ?24million move to Manchester

United.

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 a ?10m move from Ajax 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.”