Arsenal’s very own BFG, Per Mertesacker, is just seven months from the end of his current contract at the Emirates, and with the arrival of Shkrodan Mustafi, Gabriel and Rob Holding the competition for a place in the team alongside Laurent Koscielny has got a lot harder lately.
The injury that has kept the German out of the team since the beginning of the season has hardly helped his contract negotiations, and there have been rumblings about a possible return to the Bundesliga next summer. But according to the player himself there is only one place he wants to be next season. “An extension at Arsenal has absolute priority for me,” Mertesacker told the German website Spox. “There is no agreement on timing. For me, Arsenal is a top priority. Everything else is pure speculation and I will not participate in it.”
But now the question arises, do Arsenal even have room for him? Who needs five centre-backs to cover two places in the side? With the big money signing of Mustafi at the end of the transfer window it would seem that he is cementing his place as first choice with Koscielny, and our keeper Petr Cech thinks this partnership is working splendidly. “We found a quick understanding when Shkodran came into the team,” Cech said. “When he played against Southampton in his first game, you get to know the player and his habits, how he plays the game.
“Him and Laurent are very intelligent players and have found a way to play together very quickly and you can see that experience.
“They are similar types of players, although they play a different way, but they understand exactly what the other’s game is and they complement each other very well.”
So, although Per won’t get many games, he is still our captain and a leader off the pitch. Do we think Wenger should give him another year just to keep him as a good influence on our youngsters? Or should we just let him leave?