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Vermaelen dismisses injury fears

Belgium defender Thomas Vermaelen has dismissed suggestions he has suffered an injury setback.

Vermaelen was seen having his ankle strapped during a Belgium training session on Wednesday ahead of their World Cup qualifiers against Wales and Croatia.

However, he insists it is nothing more than a mild knock picked up in Arsenal's 2-0 win over Liverpool last weekend.

"It is fine - it just my ankle from last week, but it is okay," Vermaelen told Sky Sports.

The Gunners have not been renowned for their defensive solidity in recent seasons, but have begun the new Premier League campaign with three clean sheets.

Vermaelen credits the influence of Steve Bould, a former Arsenal defender and now assistant manager at the club, in helping to shore up a leaky rearguard.

"He is our assistant now and has a lot of experience at a high level with Arsenal," Vermaelen said. "We work a lot on our defensive play and you can see that with our three clean sheets."

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