[Transfer Targets] Per Mertesacker: The Solution To Arsenal’s Problems?
After a pre-season where it was all too clear where Arsenal’s frailties lie, Per Mertesacker is the latest defender Arsene Wenger is reportedly turning to in an attempt to sure up the teams leaky defence. The German is by no … Continue reading →
After a pre-season where it was all too clear where Arsenal’s frailties lie, Per Mertesacker is the latest defender Arsene Wenger is reportedly turning to in an attempt to sure up the teams leaky defence. The German is by no means the first defender Arsenal have had a supposed interest in this summer; names like Cahill and Samba have been floating around for months and the Club have also reportedly had a £10 million bid for Phil Jagielka turned down. However, with the inflated prices of the Premier League it appears the Manager may look abroad in search of a cheaper option – with the German supposedly available for just £6 million he could be just that.
What’s his pedigree?: Having come up through the youth ranks for his home town club Hannover 96, Mertesacker burst onto the German scene in 2003 for the Lower Saxony based club and soon became known as ‘die Abwehrlatte’ (the defence pole), due to his slim figure and great height. In three years there he made 72 appearances, scoring 7 goals and picking up a remarkable 2 yellow cards. In 2006 he moved to Werder Bremen for €4million, where he soon became their 1st choice centre back. In his 5 years there he has made 142 appearances and has a good injury record and few suspensions, meaning he could play consistently and build up good partnerships with his fellow defenders. He has also been capped 75 times for the German national side since his debut in 2004.
How’s the chemistry?: Being right-footed, Mertesacker would form a natural partnership in the centre of defence with left-footed Thomas Vermaelen. Standing tall at 1.98m (6’6), he would be able to dominate in the air and could strengthen the team at set-pieces, both offensively and defensively. He is also the current captain of Bremen, suggesting he has leadership qualities which would would certainly not go amiss in the current side; would the catastrophes against Birmingham and Newcastle have happened if we had a real leader on the pitch?
Do we have a chance?: With Bremen stating they are open to “serious offers” and the player himself admitting he is excited at the possibility of playing in the Premier League, it seems likely that a deal would be secured should the Club decide to pursue it. However, there will be some competition with Liverpool also interested in the German, but having just spent £12 million (including add-ons) on an unproven 17 year old, one would expect the Manager and the Board to be willing and able to spend less than this on an experienced international.
Likely Bid: £6 million. Probability: 7/10, looks like a good option.
Submitted by clockendview – just another Arsenal blog
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