Snapshot: Young Per Mertesacker poses in his Arsenal shirt aged 11
If there’s one footballer with Arsenal DNA, then defender Per Mertesacker certainly has to be up there.
The 28-year-old’s boyhood affection for the Gunners stems from his teenage years, with Mertesacker bringing home an Arsenal shirt after visiting his auntie over in England – and he hasn’t looked back since.
German international Mertesacker, who joined the club on transfer deadline day in August, posted up a picture of himself aged 11 (pictured, right) via social networking site Facebook earlier.
“When I was young and visited England with my auntie, as somebody who was football crazy, I simply had to come back with a shirt”, Mertesacker revealed after signing for the club.
“I can’t remember why, but I came back with an Arsenal shirt and my brother had a Manchester United one. This affinity has grown over more than 10 years and now the loop closes because I am delighted to finally get to play at a team I always supported and where I always wanted to appear eventually.”
However, Mertesacker isn’t the only Arsenal player who has been pictured wearing a red and white shirt in their younger years, with current captain Robin van Persie showing his support for the club in an photoshoot as a schoolboy below.