Per Mertesacker has described being at Arsenal as a “blessing” following his return to the first team squad.

The centreback, who was out from the beginning of the season after knee surgery, recently returned to Arsene Wenger’s FA Cup squad against Southampton and Sutton. However, he’s yet to make a start for the first team.

Speaking to Arsenal Player recently, it seems that the BFG, who’s signed a one-year contract extension with the club, is just happy to be injury-free and playing football again.

“You always have a certain expectation of yourself, but at the same time you want to play,” he said. “You want to play in front of 60,000. That’s the aim, that’s what you work for so I’m going to let myself be surprised a little bit.

“You don’t want to know it before, so I really think about getting a proper surprise when I’m back. Obviously the manager makes the selection and I would say I need more training sessions under my belt and maybe a couple of games but still, it’s a blessing to be at this club plus to be painless as well, that’s really important for me.”

Although Per isn’t our strongest centreback, he does give us another option. An option that’s not Gabriel. He works well reasonably with Laurent Koscielny and can read the game. Although I disagree with Wenger appointing him as captain over Kos, there’s nothing we can do, especially now, and it’s good to see him recovering.

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With Kos only just returning from a tight hamstring he suffering away to Bayern Munich, we could see the BFG stand in against Liverpool on Saturday. However, this would be throwing the big guy in at the deep end – not Wenger’s style.