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Transfer Rater: Bellerin to Barcelona

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Vermaelen: Wenger has players' backing

Thomas Vermaelen says the whole Arsenal squad wants Arsene Wenger to stay in charge at the north London club, despite the manager's future being uncertain.

Thomas Vermaelen has endured a miserable 2013.
Club captain Thomas Vermaelen has struggled for game time at Arsenal this season.

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Wenger, 64, has seen his side's Premier League title hopes all but slip away this season after leading the table for long stretches, and has still not signed a new contract to stay at the Emirates Stadium despite his current deal ending this summer.

Wenger hinted last month that he is looking to extend his stay at the club, and club captain Vermaelen says the coach -- who recently completed 1,000 games in charge of the Gunners -- has universal backing from the dressing room.

"Everybody wants him to stay as long as he can," the Daily Mirror reports Vermaelen as saying. "He's been incredible what he's done for this club, and for the players as well.

"We would be really happy for him signing on for a few more years.

"The spirit is unbelievable in the team. We've worked a lot on our team shape and everybody knows their role in the team, everybody's working for each other and that's because there is a great team spirit. That's the great improvement for us this season.

"It is just the hunger in the team. Of course it was there before but the spirit is great and you can see us fighting for each other really hard."

Arsenal could end their nine-year trophy drought this season as they are through to the semifinals of the FA Cup, while a top-four finish is still on the cards despite poor recent form.

The Gunners trail league leaders Liverpool by seven points, while fifth-placed Everton are four points behind Wenger's side with a game in hand.


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