Thomas Vermaelen proud to be Arsenal captain

Thomas Vermaelen
© PA Photos
Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen expresses his pride at being named the club's new captain following Robin van Persie's departure.

Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen has expressed his pride at being named the club's new captain.

Vermaelen was handed the armband following the departure of former skipper Robin van Persie earlier today.

The Belgium international praised the job that Van Persie did as captain, and hopes to emulate the Dutch striker.

"It makes me really happy and proud to be Arsenal captain - it's a real honour. I won't change the way I am, though. The boss makes you captain because of the way you are, so I won't change how I am in the dressing room or outside. I want to lead by example, and do as well as I can on the pitch," Vermaelen wrote in his programme notes.

"Maybe I am not much of a talker away from the pitch, but I want to lead the team through the way I play. Every captain is different, everyone has his own personality and does it in his own way. Robin did it really well last year, and of course what he did on the pitch was great as well.

"But away from that he did a lot of team building, making sure the team was a real team, and I want to do things like that as well."

Vermaelen's first game as full-time Arsenal captain will come against Sunderland tomorrow.

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