By Chris Harris
Sol Campbell is ready to step in for Thomas Vermaelen if the worst fears are confirmed over the Belgian defender's injury.
Vermaelen left Villa Park on crutches on Wednesday night after hurting his leg during the first half of Arsenal's 0-0 draw against Aston Villa. Arsène Wenger admitted in his post-match press conference that the 24-year-old would need a X-ray to determine whether the problem with his fibula was "a nerve or a broken bone".
Arsenal.com will bring you news of Vermaelen's fitness later today but, if the Belgian is sidelined, Campbell believes he can be an able deputy. The 35-year-old came on for Vermaelen at Villa Park and helped Arsenal keep a clean sheet. He is ready for more of the same against Manchester United on Sunday.
"Yes [I am ready to step in]," said Campbell. "I've been training for a long time, so if it comes to it I'll have to be ready.
"It was not really [good to come on as a substitute] because it was because of an injury to Thomas. It's not nice to come on like that. But that is where a squad comes into its own, people can come in and the level doesn’t drop."
There were positives and negatives to take from Wednesday night's game but Campbell was reasonably satisfied with a draw against a side that has beaten Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool this season.
"It's always nice to win but Villa have been going well," he said. "They are always a threat so you always have to be ready. William [Gallas] played fantastic as well and it was good.
"Cesc [Fabregas] hit the post and we hit the bar too. We had really good chances and with a little bit more luck it could have been a different story. But at least we didn’t lose.
"Every point will add up from now to the end of the season, so we just need to keep it ticking along."Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 28 Jan 2010