By Joe Brewin

Arsène Wenger believes Thomas Vermaelen’s commitment when the chips were down demonstrated his “happy marriage” with Arsenal.

Vermaelen signed a long-term contract at Emirates Stadium in October after returning from an injury-hit 2010/11 campaign.

The Belgian international has played a vital role this season and Wenger says the new deal highlighted his admirable attitude.

“That is why people love him and respect him,” said the Frenchman. “Somewhere as well you must give us some credit. We took him from Ajax, when nobody knew about him and he became a player. So it is give and give. Then you have a happy marriage.

“I was always clear he was part of the team you build for tomorrow, no matter what happens at the end of the season. That is still true today.

“We don’t know what happens at the end of the season but Vermaelen has the class to play for Arsenal so you want him to sign for a long contract. The fact he did it made me very happy.”

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23 Mar 2012