Per Mertesacker says he’s humbled and thankful for the trust and belief showed in him by Arsene Wenger after Arsenal triggered an option to extend his contract by a further year.
The World Cup winner hasn’t played a competitive fixture since taking the captain’s armband in the summer but is finally closing in on a first team return after six months recovering from surgery on his knee.
In a statement on his Facebook page, Mertesacker outlined his ambitions for the future while drawing attention to the journey he’s taken since receiving an Arsenal home shirt as a gift when he was a slightly smaller BFG.
“I would just like to say how very grateful I am to have extended my contract with Arsenal. It makes me really proud and also a bit emotional.
“I’ve been out for six months now and to have such trust and belief from the manager makes me very humble and thankful.
“Trust me, I’ll do everything possible on a daily basis to make myself better and everybody around me better. I’m working really hard to come back and show that I’m still capable on the
“I’m working really hard to come back and show that I’m still capable on the pitch, because I want to help make this great club as successful as possible.”
He added: “My love for this club is authentic. I care a lot about team-mates, about fans, and I want people to identify with us. It’s very important to me now and it always has been.
“I feel like there’s always been a link between myself and Arsenal. I’ve told the story a few times about when I came to London as a young boy and came back with an Arsenal shirt. I’ve never thrown that shirt away, and in fact it’s framed and is on the wall of my office back in Germany.
“I’ll always keep it because it’s a reminder of the circle, of the journey I’ve been on with Arsenal, and of the people who have supported me and have helped me to reach my goals.
“Wearing an Arsenal shirt is genuinely something that is special to me and that shirt always reminds me of that.”
And this boys and girls, is why we love Mertesacker…what a guy!