London: Arsene Wenger has named Belgium defender Thomas Vermaelen as Arsenal’s new captain following Robin van Persie’s move to Manchester United.
Vermaelen has already skippered Arsenal at various times over the last two seasons and, with previous captain van Persie on the verge of completing his switch to Old Trafford, the centre-back will now wear the armband on a permanent basis.
Wenger, speaking at a press conference on Friday ahead of Saturday’s Premier League opener against Sunderland, also confirmed that Spanish midfielder Mikel Arteta will be Arsenal’s new vice-captain.
“The new captain is Vermaelen and the vice-captain is Arteta,” Wenger said.
“Vermaelen was (the previous) vice-captain, so it is a quick decision. I think we have many potential captains in the squad, but at the moment it will be like that.”
Vermaelen joined Arsenal in a 10 million euros ($15.7 million) transfer from Ajax in July 2009 and has made 67 Premier League appearances for the Gunners.