Arsene Wenger has revealed that it was an easy decision to extend Per Mertesacker’s deal with Arsenal.
The boss confirmed that the German has agreed a one-year extension ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League clash against Burnley and revealed that it was so easy, there weren’t even any negotiations.
“He is a leader of the team and he is also one of the four centre backs who has experience and can guide the team,” Wenger told Arsenal Player.
“There were no negotiations in fact, because he had an option for extension. So it’s not really a new contract, it’s just an extension of the old one. We had to take that option early in the season and the decision was made quite easily.”
The 32-year-old’s old contract was due to run out at the end of the season with some reporting that a loan move could be on the cards, which would have been a little odd considering he’s club captain. Although, I doubt many would have bet against him leaving come summer.
Now that the captain’s contract’s been tied up, perhaps news on Wenger’s will soon follow, considering his current deal is also over at the end of the season. Somewhat amusingly, he’s 760/1 to get the England job, which might be worth a punt if you have access to this site.
Mertesacker is yet to feature this season after undergoing knee surgery in the summer so you have to imagine that the decision to extend his contract wasn’t quite as cut and dry as Wenger’s making out. However, what’s done is done and I’m sure the defender is incredibly happy with the development considering he always maintained that he wanted to stay in north London.
Back in November, he spoke about how comfortable he is at the club, saying, “Since the contract expires in summer, there will certainly be talks soon.
“Of course it also depends on whether I get back on the pitch well. If I am completely fit, I would like to hang for at least a year.
“We feel very comfortable in London, and I feel a great appreciation in the club.
“I can not say that [I want to return to Werder or Hannover].
“I’m currently fixed on the idea to extend at Arsenal. Of course, my wife and I are playing with the idea of going back to Germany. We will decide in due course.
“There are many things involved. Am I still healthy enough? Do I really want to play Bundesliga again?”
Mertesacker is back in training and will hopefully return in the coming weeks.