Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has given the Gunners a major injury boost by declaring himself “ready to come back home to the team”.
The 32-year-old is yet to feature this campaign after picking up a knee injury in pre-season but says he has now completed his rehabilitation and is closing in on a return to first-team action.
The German took to Twitter to share his good news writing: “Rehab couldn’t of gone better but now all packed and ready to come back home to the team! #ReturnOfTheBFG.”
While Mertesacker may now be approaching full fitness he faces another battle in forcing his way back into Arsene Wenger’s starting XI with the Gunners in fine form in his absence.
Summer signing Shkodran Mustafi has developed a strong partnership with Laurent Koscielny at the heart of an Arsenal defence that has conceded just 11 goals in 11 Premier League games this season.
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Indeed Mertesacker may find himself very much a back-up option alongside Gabriel and Rob Holding, despite having been handed the captain’s armband before the start of the season.
Mertesacker will be hoping he gets the chance to impress as the defender is also out of contract at the end of the season.
He has already insisted that earning a new contract at the club is his priority although much may depend on how well he manages to come back from his most recent injury.
Mertesacker is likely to only be offered a one-year extension at best while former clubs Hannover 96 and Werder Bremen have already shown an interest in their former player.