Having joined the club back in 2011, Per Mertesacker has etched himself into the Arsenal legend books for his work off the field, just as much as on it.
- Age: 32
- Nationality: German
- Position: Centre-back
- Best Attribute: Positioning
- Biggest Weakness: Pace/Agility
The BFG proved there was life in his old legs when thrown into his one and only appearance for the first-team last season, an occasion that brought the Gunners a record 13th FA Cup. Things will be a little bit different for him again this year but with plenty of Europa League games to get through, he could be the perfect defensive solution to give the likes of Koscielny and Mustafi a rest. He won’t be starting every game that’s for sure, but Wenger knows his captain is ready to do a job for the badge in what will be his final campaign as a player.
Mertesacker will have one eye on his future as head of the Arsenal academy, but when it comes to this season his priority needs to be handing experience down to the youngsters. A player and person like Per doesn’t go around very often and that’s why the club have already given him the job. But with the likes of Rob Holding, Calum Chambers and Krystian Bielik all coming through the ranks it’s the perfect chance for him to brush up on his mentoring skills.
How Much Will He Play?
Not very much. To put it bluntly Mertesacker will be used as a replacement and will spend the majority of the season not even in the squad on a match-day. However, he knows all of this and after signing a one-year deal in January 2017, he’ll want to enjoy the final few months in and around a squad capable of winning the Premier League.
Want more Arsenal updates throughout the season? Make sure you’re following us on Twitter and Facebook!