Thomas Vermaelen, the Arsenal centre back, is in line to face The Red Devils Manchester United in the return fixture of English Premier League on the 22nd of January, 2012, according to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

The Belgian international centre back limped off the field in the second half during their English Premier League encounter against Queens Park Rangers, a match they went on to win 1-0, sparking rumours that the injury prone defender would be out for some time. But according to the manager, Vermaelen has made a rapid recovery and is already back in training and looks good to make his comeback against the reigning English champions.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the FA Cup encounter against Leeds United, the Arsenal manager said that none of his players on the recovery table will be making a comeback in their FA Cup tie or the English Premier League tie against Swansea City. However, in news that is sure to spark joy amongst the Arsenal fans, Wenger did add that their dependable centre back Thomas Vermaelen would be making a comeback by the time they face Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium, a match that is being seen as a grudge match after Arsenal were thrashed 8-2 at Old Trafford at the start of the season.

Wenger, however, was not so optimistic about the return of Jack Wilshere and Bacary Sagna but with Arsenal’s season beginning to falter once again after facing a turnaround with the sparkling form of Robin van Persie, they need a strong defence to stop leaking in the goals that they have been doing for the past few games.

According to many football experts, Arsenal don’t have anyone better than Thomas Vermaelen in that department and his return couldn’t come at a better time. His return has also had an impact on their European hopes, with their best Champions League betting odds shortening on the betting exchanges after the news that Vermaelen would be returning earlier than expected.