VERMAELEN EXPECTS HAZARD TO SHINE
Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen is looking forward to seeing Belgium compatriot Eden Hazard strut his stuff in the Barclays Premier League next season.
The 21-year-old all but ended months of speculation over his future earlier this week by revealing he would leave French club Lille for Chelsea.
While a deal is yet been confirmed by either club Hazard, considered one of the best young talents in Europe, is almost certain to join the Champions League winners ahead of reported interest from both Manchester City and United.
The public will get a chance to see him up close on Saturday when England take on Belgium in a friendly in which team-mate Vermaelen has backed him to shine.
"I think he is a great player," the Arsenal centre-back said.
"Technically he is one of the best in our team. He will do well for Chelsea and I think he will be nice to watch for the spectators when they come to the stadium.
"I don't know [if I am surprised he chose Chelsea ahead of City] because I was not there behind the scenes.
"He made his mind up and I think he will do well, I am convinced he will.
"I am happy he came to England, I think it is good for the national team as well."
Vermaelen could come up against some of his Arsenal team-mates tomorrow, including Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The 18-year-old midfielder made his England debut against Norway last weekend and is reportedly set to start Saturday's game, and Vermaelen has backed him to succeed at Euro 2012 if called upon.
"I was a little bit surprised to see him called up," he said.
"But in the end he has been a great player for us, for Arsenal, and I think he deserves to be there.
"From my point of view, I think he will do great if he gets some time to play."
Vermaelen admitted he has been struggling with "some problems" over the past few weeks but is determined to play at Wembley.
Belgium team-mate Vincent Kompany is another battling injury, with caretaker-manager Marc Wilmots revealing he will allow the Manchester City defender to decide whether he is fit to face England.
The 26-year-old missed training with his international team-mates at Wembley on Friday evening due to a calf injury.
Kompany instead remained at the hotel with physio Lieven Maesschalck and may now miss the England match.
"I will give him the opportunity to make the decision himself because he it is such a special game for him," Wilmots said.
"He is the best player in the Premier League so it is a special game for him, representing his country on this holy turf."
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