Squillaci feels settled

French defender feels he has found his feet at the Emirates

Squillaci: Shrewd acquisition

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Sebastien Squillaci feels his arrival at Arsenal as a relative unknown has helped him to settle quicker.

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The Frenchman was a full international and a seasoned professional in France and Spain when he joined from Sevilla over the summer, but was not a player easily recognisable to many English fans.

Arsene Wenger knew what he was getting, though, and only three players have started more games for the Gunners this season than Squillaci.

The 30-year-old has proven to be another shrewd acquisition for the North London outfit and he hopes there is still more to come from him as he continues to find his feet in the Premier League.

"Yes, I think it helped (that I was a relative unknown)," Squillaci told Arsenal's official website on his progress so far.

"I knew a lot of the players and there a lot of Frenchmen here, which always makes it easier to adapt. There are players here who I have played with for France and also against in the French league and that makes coming here not so hard.

"It's always better coming to a club where you know the players, it helps you if there are any problems and also helps on and off the pitch too.

"Adapting-wise, I knew that it (English football) would be physical with some good sides, playing good football. The strikers are big and strong and it is a contrast with Spain where the strikers are faster and not so strong. But it's not going too badly. I'm stepping up to the challenge and it's getting easier."

Competition

Squillaci has been thrust into the first-team fold so soon after his arrival as a result of an injury to Thomas Vermaelen.

The Belgian is still nursing an Achilles problem, giving others an opportunity to shine, but Squillaci hopes Wenger will soon be back to full strength at the heart of his defence.

He added: "Thomas Vermaelen got injured and still is injured and that's a shame for us because we need payers like him and that brings confidence to the team.

"But there is competition at any big club and you also need all your players as there are injuries, lots of games every three games and so you need a good group of players to make up for this and to be able to cope.

"I hope that everyone gets fit, Thomas and everyone else, so that we all get our chance and we'll be able to catch up in the league."