By Joe Brewin

Per Mertesacker believes Arsenal are already one step ahead of last summer’s preparations after the arrival of three new first-team stars.

Spain international Santi Cazorla became Arsène Wenger’s latest signing on Tuesday, following strikers Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski to Emirates Stadium.

Mertesacker has welcomed the new additions and says there is healthy competition for places ahead of August 18’s Premier League opener against Sunderland.

“I think we have a better situation than last year,” he told Arsenal Player. “The team is full of characters, good players and every position [has competition]. So I am looking forward to the season because I think we can show the potential we have in a better way than last year.

“We need good signings and I feel that these players will help us a lot. Giroud is a good striker and I have seen a lot of him in training because he was not out in Asia, so we trained a lot together. He made a good effort and hopefully in the games he will show that as well.

Santi Cazorla has just signed so we will see him in training and in games in the short term.”

Podolski was first to arrive after completing his move ahead of Euro 2012 and Mertesacker says his Germany team-mate has enjoyed a seamless transition to life in north London.

“I try to do my very best [to help him settle],” said the defender. “I had the same thing last year and it is good to have a lot of help in your first moments in a new city with a new language. It is good to have some German friends around you.

“But the Club is doing well also. You have a lot of people who have been very helpful from the beginning. Everything is going fine for him and I am very happy that he is here to give his best for Arsenal.

“From the beginning he was confident about speaking English. He is a confident guy with more than 100 caps for Germany, so he has massive experience. For us to have him here is a massive impact.”

You can watch the full interview with Per on Arsenal Player now.

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 8 Aug 2012