By Chris Harris
Per Mertesacker wants to be judged on his first season as an Arsenal player - not just the first three months.
The Germany international was a transfer deadline-day signing from Werder Bremen and has been a virtual ever-present in Arsène Wenger's team since making his debut against Swansea City in September.
Mertesacker has brought experience and a calm authority to Arsenal's back four but, like any new recruit, he needed time to adapt to English football. The 27-year-old believes he's getting better with every game.
"I'm feeling good and I think that's the best thing," Mertesacker told Arsenal Player. "It was quite a short time for me to settle in and make the transfer happen - it was very close to the deadline so it was a tough month for me.
"I think in England the best players in the world are here. They have a lot of strength, a lot of speed, it doesn't compare to the Bundesliga. The technical [ability] is similar but the speed and the physical power is different.
"If you have no pre-season with the team then that makes it more difficult. People think it's easy to connect with your club, your team-mates, but it takes time.
"It's getting better and better and hopefully I can keep improving now. Let me play a season and you can get [the full picture] of my personality and my ability as a footballer."
The full interview with Per is available on Arsenal Player.Copyright 2013 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 14 Dec 2011