Vermaelen determined to regain Arsenal place

Updated: May 29, 2013, 17:55 PM IST

London: 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 defence 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."