Despite coming into the team at the very last minute to help Arsenal lift a 13th FA Cup trophy, Per Mertesacker could hang up his boots.
Speaking to Germany’s Sport 1 on Saturday, the Gunners captain has suggested he’s ready to retire and move to the operational side of the club.
The BFG signed a new one-year contract earlier this year which will see him carry a similar role next season as he’s done so well throughout this campaign.
Before last weekend’s FA Cup triumph, the 32-year-old had played just 36 minutes for the North London side after battling a couple of injuries and selection set-backs.
But rather than retiring completely, Mertesacker believes he’ll stick around as a back-up option in defence whilst preparing for a coaching role at Arsenal.
As you can tell from below, the translation isn’t perfect, but here’s what the beloved BFG had to say as he starts to wave goodbye to a fantastic playing career:
I was extremely lucky with my career, and I want to let it end. I am motivated, but I can not play anymore every three days. I don’t want to overrun my luck.
I told him I was tired, mentally drained I’ve been thinking of my career, it’s noting to do, I’m going to lose. I didn’t care how I trained, I didn’t get a chance.
Arsenal want to keep me, as there are already talks, it will be in the operational business, I will be on the other side.
Mertesacker remained coy on whether he move into a coaching role instantly after next season but there’s a very good chance he’ll stick around.
His life and soul is with this club and that became apparent when he was awarded the full captaincy after Mikel Arteta’s departure.
You can bet the talk will now surround whether or not Arsene Wenger will formally change his captain to someone, like Koscielny, who is playing regularly.
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