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Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Belgian international defender Thomas Vermaelen from Ajax in a deal worth up to 12 million euros (£10million).

“I just want to assure the Arsenal fans that I will give everything for this club and I hope we can enjoy winning some trophies together next season,” the 23-year-old Vermaelen was quoted on the Arsenal website (www.arsenal.com).

Manager Arsene Wenger added: “I have no doubt his arrival will strengthen our team. Thomas Vermaelen will be a huge asset to Arsenal.”

In a statement on their website, Ajax confirmed that the deal was worth up to 12 million euros. He is the first major player to be sold by the Amsterdam club since the appointment of Martin Jol as head coach.

Vermaelen, who had also been linked with Aston Villa, made his debut for Ajax in February 2004. He came through the ranks at Germinal Beerschot (fomerly Ekeren) and spend the 2004-05 season on loan at RKC Waalwijk.

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