By Chris Harris

Thomas Vermaelen has welcomed the news that Laurent Koscielny has extended his contract with Arsenal.

The France defender was one of Arsène Wenger's outstanding performers last term and put pen to paper on a new deal with the Club on Tuesday.

Vermaelen, who signed a contract extension in 2011, has struck up a fine understanding with Koscielny since returning from injury last October.

"I heard the news that Laurent extended his contract and I'm really happy," Vermaelen told a press conference in Beijing on Wednesday.

"From the start when he came to Arsenal he has shown he is a great player and he is developing really well. I think he has done everything for the Club already and I hope he will stay a few more years.

"Of course he is not here at the moment because he is not fit - he had a holiday because he played in the Euros. But he is a great player and I'm happy that he signed for the Club."

Vermaelen has been named captain for the Arsenal 2012 Tour, presented by Emirates, and it's a responsibility he is relishing.

"First of all I want to say that I am only captain for now," he said. "Last year I was vice-captain for Arsenal and I was really proud to be in that role for such a big club.

"I dreamed to play for this club and to play an important role as a vice-captain. It makes me really happy to help the players and help the team go forward and win trophies this year."

Copyright 2014 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 25 Jul 2012