Per Mertesacker is confident Arsenal have the right mix of youth and experience to challenge this season - as long as they become more consistent.

The German defender was a key member of the squad that went 11 games unbeaten at the end of the last campaign to claim fourth place.

We have some experienced and some talented younger players - but we need to be consistent, and more than for just 10 games

While Mertesacker was encouraged by that run, he insists the Gunners must hit the ground running this term if they are to compete for the title.

“We have a very good squad, full of potential and we want those qualities to come together,” he said in Vietnam on the second leg of the Club’s Asia Tour. "We have some experienced and some talented younger players - but we need to be consistent, and more than for just 10 games.

“We did that last season when we really had to, but this time we have to be ready from the very start. Therefore you need your experience and for the potential to come out as well.”

Arsenal will host north London rivals Tottenham in the third game of the new Premier League season, but Mertesacker says there is more than just the derby to focus on.

“We are looking forward to the Tottenham game but first we have to think about the Champions League qualification matches,” he said.

“They are vital because our first target of the season is to get into the Champions League group stage. We have to prepare well because I think all the supporters are desperate for us to be in the Champions League again.

“So that's the first target, and we are looking at the first league fixtures, especially the derby game, as well of course.”

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 Rob Kelly 17 Jul 2013