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29 February 2024

Arsenal's Vermaelen ready for Man Utd clash

Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen had been out with a a calf injury. (FILE)

By Staff

Arsenal have been boosted by the news that powerful central defender Thomas Vermaelen would be ready for the showdown against Manchester United at The Emirates next Sunday.

The Belgian has been out with an Achilles tendon injury picked up against QPR last month and was close to fitness for Sunday’s visit to Swansea.

But manager Arsene Wenger has opted not to risk him and is confident he’ll be 100 per cent ready to face United who mauled them 8-2 early in the season.

It will be a welcome relief for Wenger who admitted he will be forced to dip into the transfer market for a defender following a calf strain to Vermaelen.

Vermaelen, normally a centre-half, had been playing at left back following injuries to Andre Santos and Kieran Gibbs. And with Bacary Sagna and Carl Jenkinson also on the long-term injury list, Wenger was looking to bring in defensive cover on loan.

Arsenal flop Sebastien Squillaci has been lined up for a return to Monaco.

The 31-year-old France star has not started one Premier League game this season, and has made just five appearances in all competitions.

The centre-back spent six seasons with Monaco before moving to Lyon in 2006. He joined the ­Gunners from Sevilla in 2010, and played 22 league games last season.