Thomas Vermaelen has not been able to shake the injury bug since joining Arsenal from Ajax Amsterdam, but when he's been able to play, he's been far and away Arsenal's best defender. That's why, despite his current injury concerns, the club has decided to reward the Belgian international with a new long-term contract that will run through the end of the 2014-15 season.
Vermaelen, 25 years old, made the PFA Team of the Season for the 2009/10 campaign. He was very effective for Arsenal when he made appearances last season, but he suffered from multiple bad injuries and could only play five games in the league. He's currently injured again, and has made two league appearances this season.
Arsenal is currently struggling at the back with Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny, though it's obvious that both are talented players who just need to build some chemistry at the back. However, Arsene Wenger will still want to get his best defender back in the side as soon as possible.
For more on Vermaelen and the Gunners, check out Arsenal FC blog The Short Fuse.