Imagine my surprise when, after a few days off, I return to see headlines claiming that Per Mertesacker has said he will consider leaving Arsenal in January.
Just made Arsenal captain this season, something he has expressed immense pride at, he hasn’t been able to wear the armband since he was given it due to a knee injury that will rule him out to the new year.
Even though he’s out of contract in the summer, it seemed very odd that he would speak about leaving in January so I thought I’d do a bit of digging.
I didn’t have to dig very far to get to the truth.
Here’s what Per said that prompted the headline in the image above from The Sport Review.
“I know that I need to allow myself time. The more time I allow my knee, the longer I’ll be able to play football,” Mertesacker told Kicker in Germany.
“I can increase the workload already and I am no longer in pain.
“I believe that I can reach a level again on which I am important for the team. I have the feeling that this is not the end.
“I look at the perspectives for me and my family, and I think that I’ll intensify those thoughts from January on.
“That’s also the time when you can listen to other things [offers] when your contract is expiring.”
From this passage, where he is mostly talking about his return from injury, they have taken a line at the end and made it the focus when they could quite have easily gone with ‘Mertesacker aiming to be important for Arsenal’ or ‘Mertesacker optimistic about Arsenal future,’ but neither of those are sensational enough, so let’s lead people to believe that he wants to leave.
End of story.