Per Mertesacker has announced his international retirement from World Cup 2014 winners Germany, after gaining 104 caps for his country.
Mertesacker on his international retirement:
“The World Cup in Brazil was a golden conclusion.
“I want to win the league with Arsenal and also take a shot at the Champions League.
““I’m a world champion but you can’t let yourself go because of that. There are new challenges. I’m vice-captain at Arsenal and I know that I have more responsibilities now. I want to achieve big things with the club. Having more time off for your legs and your head is not a bad thing in that respect – especially at my old age.
“Young players are going to come through. There’s no reason for us to have any fears. We have a stronger squad now than ever before.”
Young players are definitely a positive point of the transfer window with the recent £16m signing of Calum Chambers, who impressed against Manchester City in the Gunners’ Community Shield victory.
The 6ft 6 centre- back will now concentrate on his career with the North London outfit, who he joined in August 2011 from Werder Bremen. He has played 90 games since his arrival.
He will go into the season with a positive mindset knowing that Arsenal emerged victorious in the Community Shield, brushing aside the holding Premier League champions, Manchester City.
The ‘big friendly German’ will most certainly remain an authoritative and leading presence in Arsene Wenger’s starting line up.
In conclusion, Mertesacker has made the right choice to go out on a high following their World Cup win and has now allowed competition for young starlets to fight for the once towering position Mertesacker upheld.
His main focus will now be Arsenal, and the club’s fight to stay in the top four. Nothing is guaranteed this season.
If Mertesacker can replicate the partnership he had with Laurent Koscielny last season, with players such as Calum Chambers, then strikers will be fearing the defense they come up against in the new season.