BFG: I’ve still got an important role to play

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Per Mertesacker says he’ll start thinking about his Arsenal future once he’s fully recovered from the knee ligament damage that’s expected to keep him out until the new year.

The World Cup winner, who was confirmed as club captain despite undergoing surgery on the eve of the new season and being in the final year of his contract, believes he still has an important role to play at the Emirates and can challenge for a regular place in Arsene Wenger’s starting lineups.

Speaking to German publication Kicker [translation by ESPN], the 32-year-old also gave an update on his rehabilitation.

“I know that I need to allow myself time. The more time I allow my knee, the longer I’ll be able to play football.”

“I can increase the workload already and I am no longer in pain.”

“I believe that I can reach a level again on which I am important for the team. I have the feeling that this is not the end.”

On the subject of his future, he added:  “I look at the perspectives for me and my family, and I think that I’ll intensify those thoughts from January on.

“That’s also the time when you can listen to other things [offers] when your contract is expiring.”

On the subject of new teammate Shkodran Mustafi, the BFG highlighted how impressed he’s been with his compatriot’s quick assimilation into the Gunners squad.

“I think Musti from the beginning had the feeling that this is the right move for him, he is an open type, inquisitive and fits one hundred percent to us.”

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