Arsenal skipper Thomas Vermaelen will relinquish his responsibility as skipper when he leaves the club in the coming week or so.
So who is likely to take the captain’s armband?
Mikel Arteta remains a prime candidate as he is the current vice-captain, but it is Arsenal’s German centre half who many Gooners feel would be perfect for the role.
Gooner Talk gives 5 reasons why Per Mertesacker should be Arsenal captain next season:
He’s a World Cup winner
Per Mertesacker will return from holiday on Monday along with his Germany team-mates Mesut Özil and Lukas Podolski.
The trio have just won the World Cup after a terrific tournament which showcased Die Mannschaft’s free-flowing attacking football.
Mertesacker played 6 matches in Brazil with a pass completion rate of 91.2%. He was consistent and solid at the heart of Germany’s defence.
Who wouldn’t want a World Cup winner leading the team on the pitch, week in, week out?
He loves Arsenal
29-year-old Mertesacker loves the club. He signed a contract extension last season after a series of impressive performances alongside centre back partner Laurent Koscielny.
And at Arsenal’s FA Cup parade he sung this:
He had an Arsenal shirt at the age of 10-years-old
“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. 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.”
He converted his brother from supporting Manchester United to Arsenal
Timo Mertesacker revealed in an exclusive interview with Gooner Talk that he used to be Manchester United supporter, but changed his allegiance after older brother Per joined Arsenal.
“We were in Plymouth visiting our aunt. It was random – I picked the United shirt because I liked the look of the Devil on the crest. Per picked the Arsenal shirt. What a coincidence eh?”
Read the full interview with Timo here.
His partnership with Laurent Koscielny makes him a vital member of the team
Arsenal didn’t lose a Premier League game that Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny both completed between January 22, 2012 and February 2014.
“I think we have shown a lot of people who criticised us a lot over the last two-and-a-half years that we know each other much better now and that we complement each other well, so it looks like that’s a good partnership [with Koscielny]”.
He is a leader respected by his team-mates and manager alike
“I think it’s better if the team respects me and my performances,” Mertesacker told Arsenal Player. “That’s more important for myself, that I’m well known here.
“I want to help the team and that is my target. Everything else comes one at a time. If you play well here, if you are respected well by your team-mates and you perform well then others will get to know more about you.
“So the first step for me was to help my team-mates, to give the right performances. But you have to maintain that level. That’s really difficult.”
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