by Nia Griffiths

Per Mertesacker has made is clear that this season, something’s shifted with the team and, if we can prevent injuries, we have a great chance of winning the title next season.

Speaking to Arsenal Player, the vice-captain described the base we’ve constructed, which we can now build upon from the beginning of the upcoming season. Of course, this also involves keeping our squad relatively injury-free and turning up for every match. It won’t be easy, but the BFG reckons we have the quality and experience to do it this season.

Per Mertesacker of Arsenal runs with the ball during the Barclays Asia Trophy match between Arsenal and Singapore
SINGAPORE – JULY 15: Per Mertesacker of Arsenal runs with the ball during the Barclays Asia Trophy match between Arsenal and Singapore at National Stadium on July 15, 2015 in Singapore. (Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images)

“We have a good structure and a good base. We’ll try to build on that. We have a good squad, we won’t lose key players, so that’s good consistency,” the BFG said. “The squad will be in a good mood and in good fitness. We have to be because there are plenty of competitors for the title.”

He continued, “We need to be at our best. We’ve shown in the cup that we can be consistent for six games. We want to extend that and show that we are real title contenders from the start, not only in the second half of the season.

“We want to be ready right from the start and not getting as many injuries as last season would be lovely and good for us.”

Adding finally, “The belief is still there – we always had a certain belief in ourselves – and to win trophies back to back is something special, but let’s add that little extra to be a competitor for the whole season.”

The defender has now featured in 171 matches since he joined us in 2011, captaining the side for most of last season while Mikel Arteta was sidelined with injury and doing a sterling job.

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I can honestly say, hand on heart, he’s probably my favourite player currently at the club. I truly believe he loves Arsenal and don’t see him leaving anytime soon at all. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he spent the rest of his career with us.