Vermaelen keen on new pairing
Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen believes he and Laurent Koscielny will forge a strong centre-back partnership.
Last Updated: 21/07/10 4:50pm
Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen believes he and new signing Laurent Koscielny will forge a strong centre-back partnership.
After observing him in training, Vermaelen was full of praise for 24-year-old Koscielny, who arrived at the Emirates from French club Lorient this summer.
And with centre-backs Sol Campbell, William Gallas and Mikael Silvestre on their way our, Vermaelen could be paired with Koscielny right from the start of the new season.
"It doesn't matter for me who I play with," Vermaelen told Arsenal's official website.
"You know each other's qualities and you know how the players play.
"I didn't know Koscielny before but I have seen him in training.
"He is a good defender, he puts pressure on the attackers all the time and he is tight with his marking.
"I have played alongside him a few times in training and that has gone well. He is a good defender."
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has an alternative option in central defence with the return of Johan Djourou from injury, and Vermaelen says he would be equally happy to play alongside the Swiss international.
"Djourou had a long injury last year, for almost all of the season," he added.
"I think for him it is good to be back. I know him well and he is a quality player."
Young midfielder Francis Coquelin will go in the opposite direction to Koscielny as he joins Ligue 1 side Lorient on a season-long loan deal.
The 19-year-old, who has signed a new long-term deal with Arsenal, is keen to break into the first team on his return to the Emirates next year.
"Arsenal is the right club for me because Arsene Wenger trusts young players and we can learn quickly at a high level," said Coquelin.
"The first six months were quite hard for me because of the language but now I have learned English, now I have my house, my friends in England, and I feel comfortable.
"They have given me a new contract so obviously they are counting on me and I am really pleased with that. I will give that back by working hard."