Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Mertesacker extends Arsenal deal

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 19 Jan 2017

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Per Mertesacker has agreed a contract extension at Arsenal, the club have confirmed.

Manager Arsene Wenger stated early on Friday that an option had been taken up to extend the World Cup-winning defender’s deal by an additional year.

The 32-year-old is now set to stay at the Emirates Stadium until the end of the 2017-18 season. His new deal follows contract extensions being handed to Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny and Francis Coquelin last week.

“He is a leader of the team and he is also one of the four centre backs who has experience and can guide the team,” Wenger told Arsenal Player.

“There were no negotiations in fact, because he had an option for extension. So it’s not really a new contract, it’s just an extension of the old one. We had to take that option early in the season and the decision was made quite easily.

“On the pitch he has his own technical attributes, that is his reading of the game, his intelligence, his guidance. He’s good in the air because of his size.

“Mentally, he’s a guy who brings a level of urgency into the team, a level of focus, a level of desire to do well and he’s very demanding with the people around him. He’s very respected as well and that’s why he gets a lot from the players around him.

“I’ve never seen a training session where Per was not fully focused to do well. That’s why he has improved with us a lot on a technical front, because his focus is always 100 per cent.”

Wenger confirmed that Mertesacker is approximately two weeks away from a return to first-team football, with the centre-back yet to make an appearance this season due to a knee injury.

Metersacker has made 207 appearances for the Gunners since signing from Werder Bremen in 2011 and has won two FA Cups in that time.

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