According to Sky Sports, Arsenal centre-back Per Mertesacker is set to agree a new one-year deal to stay with the north London club. The former Germany international’s contract expires this summer and there were doubts over whether he would be given an extension.
A decent backup
Mertesacker who is the Arsenal captain has failed to appear for the Gunners this season due to a knee injury. When the 32-year-old recovers he is unlikely to be first-choice at the heart of the Gunners defence, with Shkodran Mustafi, Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel all ahead of him in the pecking order.
Mertesacker has been accused of lacking pace and not playing the game with finesse at times. However, a player of his experience and personality could prove to be a decent defensive back-up, even if he does not play many games next season.
He is believed to be a big character in the dressing room and the German presence can only help the young defenders at Arsenal develop their game.
He will have a lot of knowledge to pass on to the likes of Rob Holding and Calum Chambers when he returns from his loan spell at Middlesbrough.
Mertesacker was actually still a key first team player last season and featured 36 times for the Gunners in the 2015/16 campaign.
Another Arsenal player extends their contract
Every player in the Arsenal squad seems to be extending their contracts at the club, with Francis Coquelin, Francis Coquelin and Olivier Giroud all signing new deals with the north London club.
However, the two players Arsenal are most interested in signing new deals, star pair Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil look no nearer to extending their deals, which both expire in the summer.
The club’s hierarchy seem to be working hard on keeping all the players, except the ones that are most valuable to the club.
Arsenal still lagging behind rivals
The Gunners are still lagging behind their rivals in terms of mental strength. Arsene Wenger’s side still have not got the mental toughness to last the distinct in the race for the Premier League title.
The Gunners are odds of 4/6 to make the top-four, but so are Manchester City, so it seems the bookies cannot decide who will finish in the top-four between the pair, with Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool favourites to claim the top-three spots in the table.
In my humble opinion, Arsenal will get no closer to winning the title by keeping players like Olivier Giroud, Francis Coquelin or Mertesacker, despite the experience he has.
Should Per Mertesacker be given a new contract at Arsenal?