Per Mertesacker says it was an "easy" decision to extend his contract with Arsenal.

The Germany international has been an increasingly influential figure in Arsène Wenger's squad since joining the Club in September 2011, and he has been rewarded with a new deal.

"It was easy for me to commit myself to the Club," Mertesacker told Arsenal Player.

"I have been here for two and a half lovely years, with full support and full dedication from a lot of people, so I am really looking forward to having more years coming up with this fantastic club. I think we have a great team and we want to build on our current success."

I have been here for two and a half lovely years, with full support and full dedication from a lot of people

Mertesacker's centre-back partnership with Laurent Koscielny has been the foundation for Arsenal's title challenge and the 29-year-old German's leadership credentials have also come to the fore - he has captained the side 16 times this season.

"I tried to be comfortable with the game we play and the Premier League, and afterwards I really tried to be the right addition to influence the team, to put my full commitment in," explained Mertesacker.

"When I think something goes wrong, or that we need to be aware of a situation that my experience has shown over my 10 years in professional football, I have to go and tell. That is what I am doing at the moment.

"It took me a while to realise I can be a main part of this squad. Now I want to show that. We need to get everyone ready at this club and get the best out of everyone. There is the right balance in this squad and everyone takes their place."

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Chris Harris 4 Mar 2014