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Arsenal captain open to left-back role at the World Cup

Arsenal skipper Thomas Vermaelen stars at left-back for Belgium and tells press: 'I play where the coach needs me'

The 28-year-old former Ajax star played the whole game at left-back during Belgium's comfortable 2-0 win over Sweden yesterday, and could now challenge first-choice star Jan Vertonghen for that position in the World Cup.

'When you come and win 2-0 in Sweden, then you have done well,' said Vermaelen.

'On my first half, I am not very happy, but after the break it was all a lot easier.

'Whether I will play in this position at the World Cup, I do not know.

'I play where the coach needs me.'

The Arsenal captain has had to endure a fairly poor campaign at the Emirates this season, and is even tipped, by many, to leave the club summer.

The 28-year-old has, on a number of occasions, been sidelined through injury this season, as well as a number of spells on the bench.

Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny have cemented their place as the current first-choice centre-back pairing, whilst the outgoing Bacary Sagna and Kieran Gibbs have been heavily used in the full-back positions.

The left-back position isn't one that is a totally estranged for Vermaelen at Arsenal; in fact, he played the role very well in Arsenal's 3-1 win over West Ham in his last start of the season.

He created Arsenal's second goal, scored by Olivier Giroud, and was rated by whoscored as Arsenal's best defender on the day. Unfortunately, he was unable to play the next game, in which he was replaced by Monreal, and then played his last game in the season with 10-minute cameo vs West Brom in a 1-0 win.

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