Vermaelen determined to regain Arsenal place

The Gunners captain found himself dropped by Arsene Wenger towards the end of the 2012-13 campaign but wants to prove himself at the Emirates Stadium amid transfer speculation
Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen insists he is determined to win back his place in the Gunners' starting XI after ending the season behind Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker in the pecking order.

The Belgian centre-back was named captain by Arsene Wenger at the beginning of the 2012-13 season but struggled to reproduce his best form and was eventually demoted to the bench.

That has led to speculation linking Vermaelen with a move away from the Emirates Stadium, with Juventus reportedly interested, but the 27-year-old is focused on proving himself in north London.

"I am happy with Arsenal," he told Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws. "I haven't played that much lately and that left me frustrated. But things can turn around soon.

"I went to the bench quickly, but I can be in the starting XI just as quick. I am going to work hard for that."

Vermaelen acknowledged that the competition for places in defense at Arsenal was part and parcel of life at a Champions League club.

"Those things happen in top level football," he said of finding himself among the substitutes. "Arsenal are a big club with a lot of competition for each spot. It's not a guarantee you play every match, but that doesn't keep me up at night."