Does Mertesacker still have a role to play at Arsenal?

Per Mertesacker is claimed to be in line for a new contract at present, but what role will he have to play for Arsenal next season?

The German international is yet to play a single match this term, having fallen foul of injury in pre-season, and is only nearing a return to action in the coming weeks.

Mertesacker was made club captain in the summer following the departure of Mikel Arteta to Manchester City in a coaching capacity, which came as a shock to some following his injury.

His new contract is also somewhat of a surprise, with the German looking to have fallen down the pecking order following the arrival of Shkodran Mustafi, as well as the fact that Rob Holding and Calum Chambers may well be pushing for first-team action for next season.

The former Southampton defender has been impressing on loan with Middlesbrough this season, and could well be given the chance to return to the first-team squad should he continue to do well under Aitor Karanka.

Despite the wealth of defensive options available to the Gunners, the 32 year-old is said to be close to signing a one-year extension to his contract, which would see him stay with the club until the summer of 2018, but will he really have a role to play?

The fact that he has been given the captain’s armband, as well as the fact that he is known to be a very strong leader within our squad, leads me to believe that his extension is more to do with his impact in and around the squad, more than the need for him as a player.

There may also be a possible coaching role for the big German in the near future…

Will Mertesacker be a regular player next season if fit? Or is his importance at Arsenal mainly in the backroom?

Pat J

Tags Arsenal Mertesacker


  1. Jansen says:

    Pat I see Mertesacker’s role mainly in the backroom and on the training field.

    At this stage, we should focus on developing Holding and maybe give Gabriel a continued chance should our first choice CD be injured or otherwise disposed.

    Mert’s lack of speed will only increase with age and this is a big liability not only for him but also for his teammates and the way we play.

    On a different note. I know we have to be patient with foreign players, but at what time do we give up on Gabriel becoming a first choice contributor. At the moment, based on little evidence, I have more faith in Holding developing in a first choice CD than in Gabriel.

    What I have seen of Holding, and this is not a lot, he has made a few mistakes but he seems to have great composure and calm. Holding could turn into a good one.

    Gabriel frightens me and seems panicky.

    1. NY_Gunner says:

      either you’re speaking from a biased stand point, or you haven’t really been paying attention. Gabe is streets ahead of Holding. He’s, at the moment, holding down the RB position tighter than Bellerin in many ways defensively…Holding has a bit ways to go. And yeah, he can only get that with match time.But Gabe is currently more versatile and putting in a very decent shift in every match.

  2. Jansen says:

    @NY Gunner – Not sure what you are on about? I thought I was quite clear in saying that I have not seen a lot of Holding? Clearly Gabriel has had more minutes.

    Are you saying that Gabriel does not frighten me are are you saying that the fact that he frightens me is biased?

    I like Bellering more as right back than Gabriel. Is that my opinion or am I biased? Or is your opinion just different than mine?

    Football is not a game of fact but more so of opinion. I think Sanchez is our best central striker, some think Giroud is. To me those are different opinions, to call those that think Giroud is better biased would be quite arogant on my behalf despite the fact that I have no doubt that Sanchez is better.

    1. NY_Gunner says:

      I’m saying. That if you feel more secure with Holding in defence as opposed to Gabe. Then you more than likely are basing your choice on bias or lack of attention paid to Gabes proven ability, over Rob’s unproven abilities. Especially if you’re going on their performances…

  3. Arsenal_Girl says:


    Merts experience is invaluable. He is a world cup winner too (as is Mustafi)

    Koscielny and Mustafi are starters
    But if one should be unavailable, I would choose Mert over Gabs and Holding due to his experience

    Next season may be different, but currently I see him as 3rd the pecking order

    1. NY_Gunner says:

      Yet, with all of his experience in reading the plays, he still is prone to getting skinned by quicker more agile forwards.FACTS
      For such a tall guy, his aerial presence is virtually non existent. Gabe is quicker, more agile and much better in the air than Per.

  4. Fatboy Gooney says:

    Whoooooooo? ?

  5. Wilshegz says:

    let Per go, loan Holding out and get Van Dijk, ..Gabriel n Maitland ll continue as backup RB. for Gabriel he ll be backup RB n 4th choice CB.

  6. ruelando says:

    I think Wenger has found a gold coin in his bag, with the emergence of Gab in the RB which has given him the option of selling or loaning , Debuchy and Jenkinson, for those who seem to have a problem with him obviously have not been watching or just bias. the poorest game i have seen Gabriel having, is the recent pairing with Mustafi where obviously they had a communication issue, otherwise he as been showing a lot of improvements and that only comes about getting more game time

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