Per Mertesacker has taken to Facebook to pen a heartfelt letter to Arsenal fans after renewing his Arsenal contract.

The German, who has been sidelined all season with a knee injury, had a number of options for when his contract expired this summer, but always held out for a new Arsenal deal and he’s been rewarded.

What this means is that, sometime in the near future, Arsenal might have an actual club captain start a match. Arsenal have not started a club captain since November, 2014, when Mikel Arteta wore the armband.

“I would just like to say how very grateful I am to have extended my contract with Arsenal,” the BFG wrote.

“It makes me really proud and also a bit emotional.

“I’ve been out for six months now and to have such trust and belief from the manager makes me very humble and thankful. Trust me, I’ll do everything possible on a daily basis to make myself better and everybody around me better.

“I’m working really hard to come back and show that I’m still capable on the pitch, because I want to help make this great club as successful as possible.

“My love for this club is authentic. I care a lot about team-mates, about fans, and I want people to identify with us. It’s very important to me now and it always has been. I feel like there’s always been a link between myself and Arsenal.

“I’ve told the story a few times about when I came to London as a young boy and came back with an Arsenal shirt. I’ve never thrown that shirt away, and in fact it’s framed and is on the wall of my office back in Germany. I’ll always keep it because it’s a reminder of the circle, of the journey I’ve been on with Arsenal, and of the people who have supported me and have helped me to reach my goals.

“Wearing an Arsenal shirt is genuinely something that is special to me and that shirt always reminds me of that.”