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The Belgian was sidelined early this season and was later moved out wide during an injury crisis, but he has high praise for his fellow centre back after resuming their partnership

Thomas Vermaelen praised his team-mate Laurent Koscielny for his season at the heart of the Arsenal defence.

The Belgian insists he cannot understand why the former Lorient player received criticism for his performances early in his Gunners career.
“He has done amazing this season,” the Belgian international told the club’s official website.

“I don't understand why a lot of criticism was there in the first season. The first week I saw him you could tell he was a great player and now it is all coming out in his second season. I am really happy for him.”

The 26-year-old has featured throughout the campaign at centre back as the only source of continuity in a back line that has been disrupted by injuries, first to Vermaelen and then all four of the club’s full backs Bacary Sagna, Carl Jenkinson, Kieran Gibbs and Andre Santos.

Vermaelen went on to express his relief at being able to move back across from left back to central defence and resume his partnership with Koscielny.

“In the last couple of months we have played together a lot of times and I am pleased with that,” he continued.

“He is a great player. I think we know each other's qualities so at the moment it is going well.

 “He is good all round. He is quick, strong and good with the ball,” he commented as he described the Frenchman’s contribution.

“I think we are quite similar players as well. There are just a lot of things about defending that he is really good at and that is why I like him.
“We want to play from the back of course, that is how we always want to play. He is really good in that as well so that always gives you more confidence at the back.”