By Chris Harris

Thomas Vermaelen expects Arsenal to end the season as Premier League champions.

The Belgian defender was a vital cog in the Gunners defence as they challenged Chelsea and Manchester United until the final weeks of the 2009/10 campaign. He even got forward to score seven goals in the top flight, emerging from his first year in English football with a glowing reputation.

Vermaelen believes this season will be even better - with a major trophy at the end of it.

“I'm always confident that we can win it [the title]," he said. "It’s our ambition to win it and we will do it this year.

"My dream is the same as every year - to win the league and do well in Europe and I’m sure that’s what we’re going to do."

This time last year various pundits were tipping super-rich Manchester City to usurp Arsenal in the top four. They were wrong - City were pipped to the final Champions League place by Tottenham while Liverpool dropped down the table - but don't be surprised if similar predictions are made this summer.

Not that Vermaelen is concerned. The 24-year-old is well aware of City's spending power but has faith in Arsène Wenger's policy of investing in youth.

“I don’t think money is the key to success," said Vermaelen. "You can buy as many players as you can but it doesn’t mean you can win titles with that.

"The most important thing is being able to play as a team. Manchester City have bought some really good players but now it’s up to them to make themselves into a team.

“Building with youth is the right way to do it because sometimes you have big talent in your club and the boss is right to give them a chance. You saw in the Emirates Cup last weekend that they can do well so maybe they can do something for us in the first team this season.”

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 6 Aug 2010