Arsenal Football Club has completed the signing of Germany defender Per Mertesacker on a long-term contract for an undisclosed fee.

At 26, the 6ft 6in centre-back has significant experience at both club and international level.

Mertesacker has enjoyed eight seasons in the Bundesliga - five with Werder Bremen and three with Hannover 96 - making 221 league appearances in total and finding the net on 19 occasions.

The former Werder Bremen captain also played 53 times in Europe for the Green-Whites, including the 2009 Europa League Final. In 75 games for Germany, Mertesacker has helped his country to the Semi-Finals of the 2006 and 2010 World Cups and to the Final of the 2008 European Championship.

“We are delighted to welcome Per Mertesacker to the Club," said Arsène Wenger. "He is a German international with vast experience and strength and is good on the floor and in the air. I believe he will be well-suited to the Premier League and a tremendous asset to the team.”

Mertesacker said: “I had a great time at SV Werder Bremen and I’m grateful to the club. Moving to London enables me to fulfil a dream and a further step in my career. The Premier League has always represented a great challenge for me.”

Mertesacker will wear the No 4 shirt for Arsenal.

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 31 Aug 2011