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A number of Arsenal fans have wished Per Mertesacker a happy birthday and praised him for his efforts as academy manager.

The retired Gunners defender, who turned 37 on Wednesday, has been in his role since he retired from playing in 2018.

Mertesacker has overseen the likes of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe successfully make the step up from the academy to the first team.

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The Hale End academy has a number of incredible talents who look capable of making the step up to senior level.

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The likes of Arthur Okonkwo, Folarin Balogun, Daniel Ballard, Karl Hein, Charlie Patino, Catalin Cirjan, Joel Ideho, Nikolaj Moller and Kido Taylor-Hart have all been tipped for success.

Although it’s not been plain sailing at Arsenal in recent years, the academy has done very well overall, and as the man overseeing it, Mertesacker deserves credit.

Arsenal wished him a happy birthday on their Twitter feed:

And plenty of Arsenal fans lauded him with praise and well-wishes:

Mertesacker joined Arsenal in the summer of 2011 from Werder Bremen, and he made upwards of 150 appearances for the Gunners.

The 6ft 6in ace won three FA Cups and two Community Shields with Arsenal, and with Germany, he lifted the 2014 World Cup.

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