Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that he made an exception in his usual transfer policy by signing experienced German defender Per Mertesacker.
The tall German, who stands at 6ft 6ins, made his debut for Arsenal against Swansea at the weekend and looked solid considering the intense pressure Swansea piled on late in the game.
Wenger said on the acquisition of Mertesacker:
Usually, I look at the quality of the player and not at his size, because we play a more technical game, I choose smaller players.
But he is a calming presence, he has over 70 caps with Germany so he has experience and people forget he is only 26 years old.
He must get used to the pace of the game. It is an issue because he was surprised by that but overall he has qualities we need in our team.
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He reads well the game, has good communication with the other players and he knows how important it is to communicate. That will play a big part in our season.
The statement somewhat confuses me though as I personally see ‘quality’ at the back as strength, composure, reading of the game and defensive positioning rather than the need for high technical ability.
Mertesacker, having 76 caps for Germany, offers these qualities in spades and should offer the much needed composure our back-line needs. I for one am glad that Wenger did acquire the tall German who is sure to have a number to good seasons left in him at only 26 years of age.
In terms of pace of the game, time will tell whether Per will adjust to speed of the Premier League but I am hoping his wealth of international experience will help him to adjust to the quality of Premier league football.
What do you guys think? Does Per have what it takes to fit into the Premier League? He is surely better than Djourou at the very least!