playerprofile_mertesacker
playerprofile_mertesacker

Per Mertesacker

After a stellar campaign, Per finished second in the club's Player of the Season poll. The 6ft 6in defender's partnership with Laurent Koscielny continued to flourish and their understanding was evident in a number of clean-sheet victories throughout the year.

Commanding in the air and adept on the ground, Per enjoyed a consistent campaign at the back, establishing himself as one of the key figures in the dressing room. He weighed in with a few important goals too, most notably his late equaliser against Wigan in the FA Cup semi-final.

Per Mertesacker Profile

Born September 29, 1984
Hannover, Germany
Position: Defender
Squad Number: 4
Previous Club(s) Werder Bremen, Hannover 96

Per had already enjoyed an impressive few seasons at Emirates Stadium after joining from Werder Bremen in August 2011. An important member of the German national squad since 2004, he started out at Hannover 96 before moving to Bremen in 2006, having shone at that year’s World Cup.

He made almost 200 appearances in five years there, while winning a runners-up medal at Euro 2008 and featuring in the 2010 World Cup squad. He has also travelled to Euro 2012 and the 2014 World Cup, and has reached a century of caps for the ‘Nationalmannschaft’, having represented his country numerous times at youth level.

Per Mertesacker's Arsenal Career

  Prem Lge Europe FA Cup Lge Cup Total
Season Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
2011-2012 21 0 5 0 1 0 0 0 27 0
2012-2013 33 + 1 3 6 0 3 0 1 0 43 + 1 3
2013-2014 35 2 10 0 5 + 1 1 1 0 51 + 1 3
2014-2015 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
Total 93 + 1 5 23 0 9 + 1 1 2 0 127 + 2 6

My Year

  • 2014/15
  • 2013/14
  • 2012/13
  • 2011/12

August

After his World Cup heroics with Germany, Per returned to training with Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski following an extended summer break. The 29-year-old announced his retirement from international football before the start of the domestic season, after 104 caps for the world champions. Per made his first appearance of the season against Everton before helping Arsenal keep a clean sheet against Besiktas to secure Champions League football for the 17th successive season. Speaking after the 1-1 draw against Leicester City, Per said: "We have to take this draw and after three games [to have] five points... it's just OK for us to start like that. We went through to the Champions League group stage and had two away games so five points [is OK]. I think we have to regroup and come back after the international break."

August

Per skippered the side in all four of Arsenal's games in the opening few weeks of the season. The German defender showed his experience in the vital Champions League qualifying games as he marshalled the defence to two clean sheets as Arsenal cruised into the group stages. "It's nice to be captain," he told Arsenal Player. "It's an unusual situation for me so but we have a lot of players who take responsibility so it's not only me."

September

Per made five appearances for the Gunners in September. The German defender missed out on the Sunderland game after picking up a small injury during the international break. Per skippered the side in three of their six games in the month and scored Arsenal's second goal in the 3-1 win over Stoke City. The 29-year-old continued his blossoming partnership with Laurent Koscielny at the heart of Arsenal's defence. "I have a good opinion about him and our partnership is a good one at the moment but we have to keep proving that," Per told Arsenal Player after the 2-1 win over Swansea.

October

Per made five appearances in October as his partnership with Laurent Koscielny continued to flourish. Arguably Per's best performance came against Crystal Palace when he made a couple of crucial last-ditch tackles after the Gunners were reduced to 10 men. "We want to surprise people more and more, that is what we need to do but we do not look too much at the other sides," Per said after the win at Selhurst Park. "We are in a strong and interesting position, so we are aware of it and try to keep it - but that is the difficult thing, to keep it."

November

Per played in five of Arsenal's six games in November as his partnership with Laurent Koscielny in central defence continued to go from strength to strength. The German international won the penalty which was scored by Olivier Giroud against Southampton and he also scored the winner for Germany in their win over England at Wembley. After the Southampton game, Per said: "It's always good to start well after the [international] break. We fought hard to keep a clean sheet and it was important to switch on quickly. Our mentality is at a very high level at the moment."

December

Per was ever-present for Arsenal in December. The Germany defender continued to impress with more solid displays at the back, most notably in the goalless draw with Chelsea and the 1-0 win over Newcastle. Per scored his second goal of the season against Manchester City.

January

Per featured in all six of Arsenal's games in January. The German defender replaced the injured Thomas Vermaelen in the FA Cup win over Tottenham and helped the team to further clean sheets against Fulham and Coventry City. "It is really tight at the top. At the moment, there is no chance to drop any points," he said after the Aston Villa win. "We have to show the other teams that when we feel the pressure we can respond. "That is vital so I’m really happy with the fighting performance in the second half and how resilient we were."

February

Per was ever-present for Arsenal in February. Despite a disappointing defeat to Liverpool in the league, his partnership with Laurent Koscielny continued to gel as they notched up two more clean sheets at home against Crystal Palace and Manchester United. Speaking after the FA Cup win against Liverpool, Per said: "It was obviously very important for us, after the defeat at Anfield. That defeat was a massive blow for us but we came back in the FA Cup. It was a different competition and a different game. "The first goal was key. Fabianski kept us in the game several times. It was very important to get a good performance and after Liverpool's early chance we were much better in the game. We deserved our first goal and the second one was vital as well."

March

Per signed a new contract with the club and played in all of Arsenal's fixtures in March. Along with centre-back partner Laurent Koscielny, the German produced one of his best displays of the season in the 1-0 win at Tottenham. Speaking after the Champions League exit to Bayern, Per said: "We tried everything [in the second leg], especially in the last 10 minutes. We tried to track them over the whole place, we got some balls in good situations but didn't manage to score. "We had to score twice so we were two goals away from the quarter-finals. That is a lot so I think they deserved overall to win, especially because of the first game. "But I think we take some positive things out of the game and we will try to stick to them. If we maintain our defensive level we'll have a good season. We want to finish strong, we want to do the same as last year and we have a decent chance."

April

Per didn't miss a minute of Arsenal's games in April. The defender scored a vital late equaliser in the FA Cup semi-final against Wigan before the Gunners progressed to the final on penalties. The Germany international was integral in helping Arsenal return to form in their final three games of the month. "We can learn a lot [from this season]," he said. "Last year we managed to deal with an even more difficult situation as with 10 games to go no-one expected us to be in the top four. "This year, with a couple of injuries we struggled heavily but we regrouped very well and how we managed this situation was even more important maybe than last year."

May

Per played 90 minutes in the 1-0 win at home to West Bromwich Albion but was rested for Arsenal's final league game of the campaign at Norwich. The German returned to the starting line-up for the FA Cup final and couldn't hide his delight after Arsenal claimed their first trophy since 2005. "The targets for any football player is to get this atmosphere, to smell this atmosphere," he told Arsenal Player. "It's my first time in England and we have to enjoy it but it's going to be a great ambition to come back here one day. "At one stage it's enjoyable to be here and it's a happy day for the fans and all the players together. It gives us more confidence to create more of that."

August

Per played in Arsenal's first two matches of the season, helping the team keep clean sheets against Sunderland and Stoke. “I think we have a better situation than last year,” he said. “The team is full of characters, good players and every position [has competition]."

September

Per featured four times in September, forging a fine partnership with Thomas Vermaelen in the process. The German centre back was named Man of the Match after an excellent performance in the 1-1 draw with Manchester City at Etihad Stadium.

October

Per continued to perform well during October, making four appearances and helping the Club to victories over Norwich and QPR. Fellow defender Laurent Koscielny praised the German’s performances, saying: "I am happy for Per because he’s a nice guy, very important in the dressing room. He’s a joker so he’s good for the team. I’m happy because he’s played well this season and it’s good for the team.”

November

Per was an ever-present throughout November. The German defender scored his first goal for the Club in the 5-2 win over Tottenham and was voted man of the match for his performance in the 0-0 draw with Aston Villa. “It was amazing from the very start,” he told Arsenal Player after the Tottenham game. "It was very good to score because we were one man up and they were dropping off. I kept standing in the box and tried to be lucky. The ball from Theo was very good and it was a good day to score.”

December

Per made five appearances in December, missing only the trip to Olympiacos in the Champions League and the home win over Newcastle. On being drawn against Bayern Munich in the Champions League last 16, Per said: “We will face a good team in Germany. They are top of their league and went through to the knockout stage in a phenomenal way. They only conceded seven goals in the first half of the season. [But] they have a little break now and can rest a bit. Maybe it's a good opportunity for us to face them in February because we will be in our rhythm. We will hopefully go through the Christmas period in a strong way. We can do that.”

January

Per captained Arsenal for the first time in the FA Cup win over Brighton and Hove Albion and appeared in every game except the draw at Southampton on New Year’s Day. “We are always looking to win something and we can achieve something with this group,” he told Arsenal.com. “We have a lively group so our thoughts are now on the next match. That’s the most important thing for us, not what’s going to happen in May. “We have a few targets in our team that are possible this year. We won’t talk about it, we’ll just see what happens in the next few important weeks on the pitch.”

February

Per started four games in February, missing only the FA Cup loss to Blackburn Rovers at the Emirates. “It’s always special to face a German team,” the defender said ahead of the Champions League tie against Bayern Munich. “[Me and Lukas Podolski] are looking forward to it because Bayern are a great team and are so consistent this year. It’s a special game for German players to play against a team from their home country."

March

Per was a mainstay in March, playing every single minute of Arsenal’s four games. The centre back was on target in the defeat at Tottenham and was a key component in the defence that kept clean sheets in both Munich and Swansea. “It rained cats and dogs, especially in the second half,” he said after the win in south Wales. “It was very slippery but it was a vital win.”

April

Per’s month started with a red card at West Bromwich Albion. The defender returned to the team after suspension and was named man of the match against Fulham after scoring the only goal at Craven Cottage. "I think they've been terrific - not only defending very well but also creating goals for us at the other end like they did last week against Fulham," said Wojciech Szczesny on the form of Per and Laurent Koscielny. "They're getting the credit they deserve because they work very hard and they're very honest lads. I'm very happy for them and it's much easier to play behind them when they are in that kind of form."

May

Per impressed impressed at the back alongside Laurent Koscielny in May. The German defender was given the captain's armband in Arsenal's last game of the season when Mikel Arteta went off injured. "I think it is good for us to play against teams who are under pressure," he said after the win against Queens Park Rangers. "It helps us keep our focus on a high level.”

August

Per joined the Club from Werder Bremen in August.

September

Per has started in every one of his available league and European matches since his summer move from Werder Bremen, battling on through the month with various defensive partners as injury problems mounted. "I want to do a good job, especially in the defence," he said. "That is my role. If the coach praises me then that is a great thing but I have to go on and keep on working."

October

Per enjoyed a positive month at the heart of the Arsenal defence as he developed his partnership with Laurent Koscielny. The Germany international helped the Gunners to victories against Sunderland, Stoke and Chelsea – and was outstanding as Arsenal kept a clean sheet in the away victory in Marseille.

November

Per continued his acclimatisation to English football, impressing in the Champions League fixtures against Marseille and Borussia Dortmund. The German played his part in a solid month at the back for Arsenal.

December

Per remained an integral part of Arsene Wenger's first team, playing in every one of Arsenal's available Premier League fixtures over the month.

January

Per was a virtual ever-present over the month, missing only the FA Cup victory over Leeds through illness.

February

Per suffered an ankle injury in the win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light and faces a long-term spell on the sidelines. Prior to his injury, Per featured in the draw at Bolton and the 7-1 victory over Blackburn at Emirates Stadium. "Unfortunately he has had surgery and we have lost him for a while," said Arsene Wenger. "How long I don’t know. He had reconstruction of his ligaments. So it will be long term."

March

Per continued to recover from his ankle injury. "I believe Per will be out for the rest of the season," said Arsene Wenger. "There is not long to go so I don't think he will be sharp enough to come back and play. He would need to train and get back to full fitness."

April

Per did not feature in April as he continued his rehabilitation from an ankle injury. Arsene Wenger said: "He is doing well. He is hopeful he will make the Euros and I hope he does. He is doing all his work here and the next two weeks will be vital for him. He has started ball work and he looks quite good."

May

Per continued his recovery from an ankle injury as he battled to be fit for Germany's European Championship campaign.