By Randy Osae

Tabloids had suggested that Wenger broke his record of a fee for a defensive player by splashing that amount but according to the other hand of the handshake, Ajax, Vermaelen came for a bargain.

The Dutch club have revealed that the Belgian was sold to Arsenal for €10 million which can only equal about £8.5 million.

There is an agreement of an additional €2 million should the player excel at his new club.

But Arsenal’s version of Vidic may have come for cheap.

It may not matter as much as the length of his contract or weekly wages but Thomas Vermaelen may still be craving a shirt number now that he has been named an Arsenal player .

The Belgian defender completed a smooth transfer to Arsenal which lacked any agent merry-go-round talks nor Wenger’s contradicting denials yesterday.

After the transfer which was formatted within a short fortnight was done on Friday, kit manager Vic Akers decided not to assign a squad number to Thomas Vermaelen as it may be a premature move.

Vermaelen is believed to prefer the soon to be available and famous # 6 but the decision to not hand him that number implies that Phillipe Senderos future is still unresolved.

The Swiss defender is bound to remain in Milan and unless Wenger intends to own a collection of centre-backs in his now deep squad, Senderos should make Vermaelen’s preferable # 6 vacant soon.

Shirt number 13 – previously worn by Alex Hleb – is also available but that and # 6 are the only void numbers between 1-20.

Vermaelen, who modeled the # 4 at Ajax is likely to choose another single-digit number once Phillipe Senderos’ departure is confirmed.

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