Mertesacker to manage Arsenal Academy

Mertesacker joined Arsenal in August 2011 from Bundesliga side Werder Bremen and quickly established himself as a fixture in the Gunners defence. PHOTO: Arsenal.com

Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker is set to bring his illustrious football career to an end at the end of the 2017/2018 season, the north London club said on Friday. He is expected to lead Arsenal Academy thereafter.

“We are delighted to announce that club captain Per Mertesacker will become our academy manager in a year’s time,” Arsenal said in a statement.

“For the coming season, he will continue as an important part of our squad while developing his knowledge and understanding of the Academy.”

Mertesacker joined Arsenal in August 2011 from Bundesliga side Werder Bremen and quickly established himself as a fixture in the Gunners defence. Though nagging injuries limited his appearance for the team in the 2016/2017 season, he, however, played entire 90 minutes in Arsenal’s last game of the season – a 2-1 victory over London rivals Chelsea, which handed the club another FA Cup trophy.

“This is the start of an exciting new chapter for me and I am delighted that I will be able to stay part of the Arsenal family,” Mertesacker said.

“This season I will remain fully focused on my job with the team and am looking forward to a successful last season on the pitch. After that, I look forward to the exciting challenge of helping produce young players good enough to play for the Arsenal first team.”

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger described the German defender as an exceptional character who is a great example for young players.

“He is a deep thinker about the game and committed to helping players fulfil their potential,” Wenger told the club’s website.

“He will be an inspirational figure for everyone connected with the academy.”



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