Squad no. 4
Height: 6ft 6
Interesting Fact: Mertesacker’s wife Ulrike Stange plays international handball for Germany.
Merteascker started his career at Hannover, coming through the youth system, and in the process became one of the most influential and important players at the club. From 2003-2006 he participated in 76 league games for Die Roten (The Reds) and after an impressive 2006 World Cup, he moved to Bundesliga giants Werder Bremen, in a deal believed to be just under £5 million. His career really excelled with Bremen and during his time there he won the German Cup, whilst also being runner-up in the Uefa Cup and German league. After 210 games with the club, where he scored 17 goals, Mertesacker left Germany for North London and has so far played 123 times for the Gunners, scoring on 6 occasions.
How Much Will He Play?
Providing he doesn’t get injured, Mertesacker will be a main stay in the Arsenal line-up throughout the season. There are only two out-and-out centre-backs at the club and Wenger has taken a huge risk in not signing a back-up. During his time with Arsenal I don’t recall him having too many injury problems so hopefully he can stay fit, as we’ll definitely need him throughout the Premiership and Champions League campaigns this season.
How Well Will He Do?
After a shaky start to his career, the BFG has settled in very well and over the last couple of seasons, with Koscielny alongside him, he has been an exceptional performer. His ability to read the game, and anticipate whats’ going to happen in front of him is the key to him being such a brilliant defender, but doubts will always remain over his lack of pace. Luckily though this hasn’t really effected him too badly as Koscielny is usually by his side and will mop up any danger. On the whole Per very rarely has a poor game and is Mr.consistent, you now what you’re going to get from him, and should he perform like he has over the last couple of terms he’ll do just fine.
Current Value: £8 million
Potential Value: At 29 Mertesacker’s value is unlikely to rise
Overall Rating: 8/10