'I do almost everything that you can imagine'

After 15 years playing at the highest level, Per Merteacker has opened a new chapter in his life as our academy manager.

But how is he adapting to the role - and how hands on is he at London Colney and Hale End?

"I do almost everything you can imagine, so I’m obviously involved with the coaches, involved with the players and with their surrounding team with agents, parents and all the stakeholders," Mertesacker told Arsenal Player. 

"I choose by myself at the moment what I’m going to do and where I’m going to put emphasis on, so in a managing role, especially in the academy, you go into stuff and then you zoom in and then zoom out.

"You’re not working with a team on a daily basis, you have more responsibilities, and I’m trying to figure out as well how my week looks. At the moment I’m doing it all, but I’m trying to get the best out of me and that is the relationship with people, the relationship with players, where I can support with my experience and where I can support with me as a person.

"There’s lots I can do and I feel that. At the moment what is really important is that kids, players and parents recognise me and they think, ‘Yeah, he’s done a great job playing 15 years professional’ and that gives you some respect, but obviously I want to stick to that and help them and support them.

"But as well you want to live the values of the club and you want to bring some content to the club, so this kind of measurement as a player where you’ve done really well and maybe kept for one or two seasons, I want to do really well and keep improving as an academy manager and that’s my first focus."

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