Arsenal’s very own BFG (big friendly giant, big f****** German or however you want to go about it), Per Mertesacker, has stated that he is very pleased with how his form is and has indicated he wants to sign a new contract with Arsenal.
The big German has formed a very formidable partnership with Laurent Koscielny, which has vastly improved the defensive frailties we have associated with Arsenal in recent seasons.
While he is in great form currently, he also revealed the difficulties he had in his first season at the Emirates, but lauded the trust Wenger put in him to get him where he is now.
Mertesacker is quoted as saying by The Evening Standard:
I am very delighted here. The first year was tough for me, a very tough challenge, but the club and the manager always trusted me in a special way.
I think it is a little reward that we are talking [about a new contract], because I still have one-and-a-half years left.
There is no rush but it seems that some people are delighted with my performances at the moment. I am pleased with the situation.
I went through a lot of difficulties and a lot of mistakes at the beginning, but he [Wenger] always said I would get through it because I was a good player.
I got a big injury in my first year, so I took my time to settle down completely and there were a lot of reasons.
I missed completely the pre-season [before joining Arsenal] so it was really hard because I had to work straight away to play straight away. It took me a while to get to that level. But the manager always trusted me and said I was intelligent enough to cope with problems.
Then I missed Euro 2012, so I was fit for my second season. Maybe it was a good thing that I missed the competition with Germany to train and get my body fit.
Mertesacker has no doubt become a vital part of the first team. You can see he is now grown into a leader at the back and has excellent positional awareness and intelligence on the pitch, which in my opinion easily outweighs his lack of pace.
His partnership with Koscielny is one where each player complements the other to make a formidable unit, which has inevitably consigned Vermaelen to the bench. It is unfortunate for the Belgian, but his stark similarities to Koscielny meant a pairing between the two was never as effective.
An increase in confidence and playing with more authority, coupled with his increase in fitness, has been instrumental to his resurgence this season. Hopefully he can continue his great form throughout the rest of the season and sign that contract extension!
What do you guys think? Do you rate the BFG? Or is his lack of pace too much of a burden? Feel free to leave a comment below!