Vermaelen expects Hazard to shine

Will shine... Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen expects great things from international teammate Eden Hazard. (Getty Images)

Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen is looking forward to seeing compatriot Eden Hazard strut his stuff in the EPL next season.

The 21-year-old all but ended months of speculation over his future earlier this week by revealing he would leave 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 UEFA Champions League winners ahead of reported interest from both Manchester City and Manchester United.

The public will get a chance to see him up close when England takes 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 teammates tomorrow, including Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The 18-year-old midfielder made his England debut against Norway last weekend and is reportedly set to start, 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 teammate Vincent Kompany is another battling injury, with caretaker manager Marc Wilmots revealing he will allow the Manchester City captain to decide whether he is fit to face England.

The 26-year-old missed training with his international teammates at Wembley 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."

Source PRESS ASSOCIATION