Emirates Stadium

Next Game

Arsenal v Burnley

Saturday, 01 November 2014, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Stadium of Light

Last Game

S'land 0 - 2 Arsenal

Saturday, 25 October 2014, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Mertens tempting Vermaelen

Napoli winger Dries Mertens admits he is attempting to coax Belgium team-mate Thomas Vermaelen to the Serie A club.

Last Updated: 24/12/13 at 15:15 Post Comment

Thomas Vermaelen: Being lured to Napoli by Dries Mertens

Thomas Vermaelen: Being lured to Napoli by Dries Mertens

More of the games that matter

Watch Manchester City v Manchester United live only on Sky Sports this Super Sunday. Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Centre-back Vermaelen is currently plying his trade in the Premier League with Arsenal but his compatriot Mertens is keen to see him make the switch to Serie A.

Following Arsenal's meeting with Napoli in the Champions League group stages, Mertens has led the calls to bring the Ajax academy graduate to Italy.

Mertens revealed he has spoken several times with his international colleague about the switch and claims Napoli coach Rafael Benitez has also asked him to tempt Vermaelen.

"I have already told Vermaelen to come to Napoli 10 times," he told Belgian newspaper Knack.

"The city is magnificent and even Benitez asked me to convince Vermaelen to come here.

"But Arsenal is a great club and it won't be so easy for him to leave."

Mertens joined Napoli from Dutch side PSV Eindhoven in the summer and became Benitez's first signing at the club, with the Spaniard assuming the reins from Walter Mazzarri.

Upgrade

"The club contacted me but also he called me about how keen he was to sign me," he explained.

"That played a role in my decision, a coach who really wanted me, a financial upgrade, a new league and the Champions League."

Mertens has scored just twice in his 22 appearances since moving to Italy but insists Benitez is playing a pivotal role in helping him to acclimatise to new conditions.

"Benitez was clear to me from the beginning," he added. "He told me how he wanted to play and also said he would like to rotate a lot.

"I had time to adapt myself, another league, another way of playing football.

"Benitez said from the start: 'I will bring you slowly, don't worry'.

"And that is what happened. Therefore I am not annoyed that I haven't played much at the start."

More of the games that matter

Watch Manchester City v Manchester United live only on Sky Sports this Super Sunday. Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

s that Subbuteo's Shaun Wright-Phillips? Crikey, I thought he'd retired. Although I guess 'Only' QPR is like a retirement home.

duckman
The Earl Grey Gossip

C

an we release him in January?

dhirt11
Gerrard: I would leave Anfield

E

xcellent! Not sure if he is any good as a manager (never thought about it) but the 'headbutt in the technical area' and what he said to Pelligrini were just brilliant, it was as if he was trying to recreate the end of the Alan Partridge Xmas special when Alan punched a man in a wheelchair and verbally abused Tony Heirs.

beachend
Football Managers On TV: Alan Pardew

Footer 365

Premier League: Louis Van Gaal confirms Wayne Rooney will captain United in Manchester derby

Louis van Gaal has confirmed Wayne Rooney will play and will captain Manchester United in Sunday's derby against City.

Bundesliga: Borussia Dortmund forward Marco Reus shrugs off transfer talk

Marco Reus insists his future is the last of his concerns amid reports Bayern Munich want to sign the Dortmund ace.

Premier League: Wenger not ruling out Arsenal title bid

Arsene Wenger is not ruling the Gunners out of the title race despite being nine points behind leaders Chelsea.

Mail Box

A Detailed Defence Of Alex Song And...

...lots more in a mailbox that takes in Manuel Pellegrini's woes, Steven Gerrard's future, Carlo Ancelotti, Alan Pardew and Alan Pardew's daughter. A fine read...

Is Ancelotti A Better Boss Than Mourinho?

That's one shout in the mailbox, although not as controversial as the mail imploring Jose Mourinho to sign Steven Gerrard in January so he can win the title he deserves...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property