VERMAELEN COMPLETES ARSENAL MOVE
Arsenal have completed the signing of Belgium defender Thomas Vermaelen from Ajax.
Vermaelen, 23, joined Ajax in 2004 and has made over 100 appearances for the Dutch club and has picked up valuable experience in the Champions League and UEFA Cup.
The undisclosed fee is reported to have been in the region of £10million and Arsene Wenger is convinced his new signing can provide a "solid" base on which to help build Arsenal's challenge next season.
He said: "Thomas is a solid performer with good experience of Champions League and UEFA Cup football and is also a regular with the Belgium national team.
"Thomas is primarily a left-footed centre-back, but he is multi-functional and can also play at left-back.
"He is strong technically with a positive winner's attitude and I have no doubt his arrival will strengthen our team.
"Thomas Vermaelen will be a huge asset to Arsenal."
Vermaelen, meanwhile, is in no doubt of just what his new club - who were knocked out at the semi-final stage of both the FA Cup and in Europe - can achieve next season.
"Everything is set up for Arsenal to be very successful for years to come and I joined this club because I know Arsenal will be challenging for trophies," Vermaelen said in an interview with www.arsenal.com.
"Arsenal are a great club with a world class manager, high quality players and a fantastic stadium.
"I have had a good taste of the Champions League during my time with Ajax and this is something I am looking forward to experiencing again with Arsenal."
Vermaelen added: "I am also looking forward to playing in the English Premier League, which for me, is the best league in the world.
"I just want to assure the Arsenal fans that I will give everything for this club and I hope we can enjoy winning some trophies together next season."