Arsène Wenger says Vermaelen and Szczesny must fight to win back places

Arsène Wenger is yet to make up his mind whether to recall his captain, Thomas Vermaelen, and the goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny for Arsenal’s trip to Swansea on Saturday.

Wenger insists  Szczesny and  Vermaelen must earn recalls to the Arsenal side after being dropped for Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Bayern Munich.

“All the players are in the same position,” Wenger told reporters. “Nobody’s guaranteed places in the team.

“Be a competitor. It is part of it. Fight for it. He has top quality, Fabianski. He has gone through difficult times but he faced it, handled it and he did something about it.

“He lacked a bit confidence, he suffered a bit under pressure but let’s not forget that to mature helps as well.”

Wenger also insists that Vermaelen is not an instant selection due to being club captain, although he remains a key part of the Gunners’ first-team plans.

The Frenchman continued: “Being a captain shouldn’t guarantee you a place in any game.

“For purely sporting reasons, or tactical reasons in the game, when you don’t think it is the right selection, do you put the player in just as he is captain?

“That is disrespectful to the guy who doesn’t play.

“Vermaelen has played many games in many positions and is a very important player in our squad.

“But they know there might be rotation with the three centre-backs – Vermaelen, [Laurent] Koscielny and [Per] Mertesacker. You have to accept that.”

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