French source L’Equipe are reporting that Arsenal have signed experienced German international Per Mertesacker as Arsene Wenger looks to strengthen the club’s leaky defence. The Werder Bremen centre back has been linked with a move to the Premier League side for the best part of a year and now it appears that the Gunners boss has secured a deal to sign the 26 year old.
Mertesacker has amassed 75 national team caps and could well be the player to help stabilize a defence that has struggled for form over the past 18 months. Wenger has been looking to beef up his back-line all summer and reportedly made advances for English international pair Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill but has seemingly opted for the more cost effective option of moving for a German international with just one year left on his current contract. Mertesacker is said to be available for as little as £6m.
Last summer’s signings Laurent Koscielny and Sebastien Squillaci have struggled to make an impact and Johan Djourou, though much improved, does not appear to be the answer to Arsenal’s defensive woes. Last term the Emirates Stadium side conceded their highest Premier League total in over a decade and followed that up with poor displays against Liverpool and Man United.
Thomas Vermaelen offers a solid base but the Belgian could benefit from an experienced partner at the heart of the Arsenal defence and Per Mertesacker may well be the man to fill that void.
The giant 6ft 5in defender is in his sixth season at Werder Bremen and has seen the side go from being genuine title challengers and regular Champions League participants to a disappointing 13th place finish last term and now the Hannover born stalwart appears ready for a new challenge