Thomas Vermaelen believes the competition for places at centre-back is encouraging for Arsenal.

The Belgian international has played his part in the past month after returning from injury in the Carling Cup win over Bolton in October.

Since his comeback, Vermaelen has featured with both Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker at the back - and he says hunger for places is healthy for boss Arsène Wenger.

“The boss has a lot of choices at the moment, and all of the centre-backs are fit which helps too,” he told the Official Matchday Programme.

“There’s a lot of competition and that can only be good for the team.

“It’s good to be able to rest players when they need it, so I don’t think it’s a problem if we have to rotate because we train together all the time.

“We know each other’s qualities, so it doesn’t matter who plays on the day.”

Vermaelen joined the Club from Ajax in July 2009, and has since made 60 appearances for Arsenal. The 26-year-old admits he has become much wiser during his two years at Emirates Stadium.

“I must say that in the last few years here at Arsenal I have learnt a lot about good positioning,” he said.

“I’ve also learnt a lot about organisation and talking to the players in front of you, because if you can help them know where they should be as well, it makes your job easier too.

“I think that’s what you learn when you get older.”

This interview first appeared in the Official Matchday Programme. Subscribe to the Matchday Programme by calling 08700 20 20 20.

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24 Nov 2011