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.

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14 Dec 2011