Thomas Vermaelen admits he's been taken aback by the sheer enthusiasm of Arsenal's fans in Malaysia.

The squad have enjoyed the warmest of welcomes on the first leg of their Asia Tour and trained in front of thousands of supporters at the Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday evening.

An even bigger crowd is expected for Wednesday's friendly against a Malaysia XI and Vermaelen is enjoying his first experience of the country.

"I was a little bit surprised [by how enthusiastic the fans are] but I heard that Arsenal is really popular over here," he told Arsenal Player.

"The fans love Arsenal and you could see that [at the signing session]. It's good to see that we are popular around the world. I don't think Malaysian fans are different to English fans though, the English are respectful to players too and always support the team no matter what."

The full interview with Thomas is now available on Arsenal Player. He discusses: team building in pre-season, dealing with the humidity, what the squad has been working on, seeing Malaysia and what he's been doing when he's not training

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 13 Jul 2011