BFG focused on playing & excited for the future

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Per Mertesacker insists he remains focused on the final year of his playing career despite the exciting prospect of taking over as head of Arsenal’s Academy in 12 months.

While the appointment of the club captain to one of the most important positions at London Colney came as a surprise, the retention of the World Cup winner’s experience has been warmly greeted by supporters who’ve often lamented the loss of retired stars to rival clubs.

The Gunners had been on the lookout for a new Academy manager since Andries Jonker left to takeover at Wolfsburg in February. Interim head, Luke Hobbs, will retain his position for the season ahead.

In a statement released on Instagram, Mertesacker explained why he’s looking forward to the next step in his career:

“Dear fans and friends, clear decisions were always very important to me. I felt like that after World Cup 2014 and I take such a decision now again. From autumn 2018 onwards I will be heading up the Arsenal Academy as the “Head of Academy”. Which means at the same time that the upcoming season will be my last one as a player.

“I am delighted about this future challenge and job at the club who means so much to me. Pattensen, Hannover, Bremen, Arsenal London – these places and clubs formed me and made me the player and person I am today. It is important to me to pass on these experiences and values to young players in the future.

“But for the next months my clear focus is to give everything as a player for the club. I am looking forward to the things lying ahead of us, short- mid- and longterm.”

Mertesacker will spend the upcoming pre-season challenging the likes of Calum Chambers, Rob Holding, Gabriel, Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny for a first team position. It’s not going to be easy getting game time.

Whatever he may say about staying focus on playing, there’s a fairly good chance he’ll be using his spare time to get to grips with the day-to-day running of the Academy.

For more on the challenges facing the BFG in his new role, check out the latest piece by Jeorge Bird, our resident Arsenal youth expert. 

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16 Comments on "BFG focused on playing & excited for the future"

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Paul

Per-fect choice for people academy and possible manager in the long term.

Paul

People? Should be ‘our’.

mark

Love the BFG, so glad he gets to continue his career with Arsenal and also was able to have such a big role in a trophy last year in the Final after such a frustrating year for him.

goongot

I would pay season ticket’s worth of money just to see the anguish on tony adam’s face 😂.

Danger Mouse

One of the most intelligent and likeable pro’s around.

Rich

Chambers has three years left on his deal, suppose it’s worth hanging on for another 12 month loan to see how he progresses?
Or would it be better to keep Chambers and send Holding out for 12months solid playing?

Martin

Keep both of them. Chambers did very well at Middlesbrough and was outstanding for the England U21s.

Hi-brid

Really chuffed about this news. What with Lehmann too, there’s a danger we could even be accused of succession planning if we’re not careful.

Dublin Ed

My sentiments exactly!

PartyPalour

Very much in love with everything that’s going on right now!

Ben

I love me a big Per.

Can’t think of a better candidate to join the backroom staff at Arsenal.

Goontang

Start him

Koscielny. Sack. Mustafi.

Best back 2 ive seen in a while.

Martin

So why sack Mustafi ? 😂😂😂

TeeCee

Obviously because having no cover at all at centre back has worked so well for us in the past.

avo

because sack is per

Stayn

Per Guardiola

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