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Thomas Vermaelen will lead the Gunners this season

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Arsenal have appointed Thomas Vermaelen as their new captain.

The Belgian has replaced Robin van Persie, who has joined Manchester United for a fee, believed to be £24million.

“It makes me really happy and proud to be Arsenal captain - it’s a real honour,” the Belgian says in his programme notes for Saturday’s match with Sunderland.

“I won’t change the way I am, though. The boss makes you captain because of the way you are, so I won’t change how I am in the dressing room or outside. I want to lead by example, and do as well as I can on the pitch.

“Maybe I am not much of a talker away from the pitch, but I want to lead the team through the way I play.”

The defender paid tribute to the departed van Persie’s leadership qualities.

“Every captain is different, everyone has his own personality and does it in his own way,” he said. “Robin did it really well last year, and of course what he did on the pitch was great as well.

“But away from that he did a lot of team building, making sure the team was a real team, and I want to do things like that as well.”

Vermaelen captained Ajax and has led Belgium on occasions.

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