'This is like the last job, the last opportunity'

For Per Mertesacker, this pre-season has had something special about it.

This coming campaign carries extra importance for the captain, who is set to hang up his boots and take on the role of head of our academy next summer.

The 32-year-old readily admits that knowing this is his final year has given him added motivation.

"I focus even more to make it as enjoyable as possible for myself," Per said. "I enjoy being a player, I enjoy being part of that group and I want to make that a special group. 

"So I focus even more because this is like the last job, the last opportunity, so one more shot and that’s why there is even more focus every training session not to pick up another injury. 

"The preparation I do was always with high intensity and always high focus so I would say I am still consistent and stay the same when not even more focus on that."

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