Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has lavished praise on defender Per Mertesacker after the German’s impressive defensive performances for the north London giants.
The 29-year-old has emerged as Arsenal’s first choice centre half alongside Laurent Koscielny and is considered one of the main reasons why Wenger’s side have only lost once in 24 matches.
Mertesacker’s successful partnership with French international Koscielny has kept Gunners captain Thomas Vermaelen out of the starting XI, where he has played just twice since the season began.
“In regards to tactical understanding, he [Mertesacker] is one of the best centre backs in the world”, Wenger told German TV broadcaster ZDF.
The Hanover-born defender was one of the key figures who helped Mesut Ozil’s transfer to Emirates Stadium in August, adding to the German contingent of Lukas Podolski, Serge Gnabry, Thomas Eisfeld and Gedion Zelalem.
Since his arrival from Werder Bremen on transfer deadline day in 2011, Mertesacker has made over 82 appearances for Arsenal, scoring 4 goals in the process.