Per Mertesacker signed for Arsenal last Wednesday, but due to the current round of international matches he has yet to meet up with his new team mates, but he is due to meet them all at Colney today.
Mertesacker, 26, has been speaking about his move to Arsenal and the challenges that lie ahead. He said, “It is exciting, it is like before the first day at school. It is a new phase in my life and I am really looking forward to it but I also feel nervous. Now I have a new challenge in a new country, a new style of play and a new language. I am ready for it.”
Arsenal fans are certainly hoping you are ready for it Per, especially now that Thomas Vermaelen is out for at least six weeks.
Mertesacker earned his 76th cap for Germany on Tuesday when he played in the friendly international against Poland which ended 2-2 and he admits that he is not guaranteed a place in the starting line-up for next years European Championships, for which Germany have already qualified. He said, “It was great to be part of the team again. It is going to be an open race for places. We have a lot of options for next year at Euro 2012 in the centre of the defence. There are four or five top players there.”
There may be four or five top central defenders in the German squad, but right here right now you are the number one at Arsenal. Gooners are sure to get their first glimpse of the 6ft 6in Mertesacker on Saturday when he makes his debut against Swansea City at the Emirates Stadium. Wrap him in cotton wool please we can ill afford to lose him as well!