Am a bit late in posting this, as I was not online throughout the weekend. Apologies.
Hopefully, Vermaelen's recruitment doesn't mean the exit of any of our existing rearguard. Despite what other Gooners says, I still believe we can get good service out of Gallas & Silvestre whenever they are fit. Senderos, if he truly has improved from his loan spell @ San Siro, should fight for his place.
Arsenal sign Thomas Vermaelen from Ajax on long-term deal
guardian.co.uk, Friday 19 June 2009 16.44 BST
The Belgium international defender Thomas Vermaelen has joined Arsenal from Ajax on a long-term contract for an undisclosed fee.
The 23-year-old, who captained the Dutch club last season, made his first-team debut at just 18. He has played in the Uefa Cup and the Champions League during his 143 appearances for the Amsterdam side, including two appearances against Arsenal in the 2005-06 Champions League group stages.
Vermaelen has made 21 appearances for Belgium, now being a regular in his country's set-up since making his full international debut in March 2006.
"Thomas is a great signing for Arsenal, and we are all delighted that he is joining us," the Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger said. "Thomas is a solid performer with good experience of Champions League and Uefa Cup football and is also a regular with the Belgium national team.
"Thomas is primarily a left-footed centre-back, but he's multi-functional and can also play at left-back. He is strong technically with a positive winner's attitude and I have no doubt his arrival will strengthen our team. Thomas Vermaelen will be a huge asset to Arsenal."
After completing his move, Vermaelen said: "Firstly, I have to say that I'm sad to be leaving Ajax and I would just like to thank everyone for their help and friendship towards me over the past eight years.
"I'm just so happy to be joining Arsenal. This is a great club with a world-class manager, high-quality players and a fantastic stadium. Everything is set up for Arsenal to be very successful for years to come and I joined this club because I know Arsenal will be challenging for trophies.
Till later, live long & prosper.