Arsenal have agreed a new one-year contract with Per Mertesacker for next season, despite the fact that he has not played during this campaign.
The German defender, who was offered £70,000 a week, is undergoing rehab after suffering knee and calf injuries and it is unclear when he will be fit to return to action. However, he has followed French trio Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny and Francis Coquelin in agreeing to extend his contract.
Mertesacker is valued as much for his strong leadership and positive influence on Arsenal’s youngsters as his performances. Wenger had already showed a considerable amount of faith in the German this season by appointing him as club captain after he sustained a serious knee injury last summer.
The retention of Mertesacker leaves Mesut Özil, Alexis Sánchez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kieran Gibbs as the only first-team players whose contractual situations need addressing as they have 18 months remaining on their deals. Wenger’s own contract expires at the end of the season, but the club is confident that he will sign the two-year deal that has been on the table since last summer.
Arsene Wenger revealed earlier this month he wanted the Arsenal captain and his team-mate Santi Cazorla to sign new deals with the club.
“Cazorla and Mertesacker’s contract renewal does not depend on their fitness,” Wenger told the club’s official website (via Arseblog)
“We have an option on both of them and I think we will take it,” Wenger said. “For their qualities as football players firstly but as well for their mental guidance.” added the Frenchman.
“We need to have a balance between youth and experience. They are important in that.” explained Wenger.
Mertesacker joined Arsenal from Hannover in 2011, and has gone on to make 207 appearances for the north London club.
If you are confident that Cazorla will follow Mertesacker in extending his contract, hop on to LeoVegas and start betting to win 25% extra on all football bets.