Per - Team-mates’ respect vital for me

Per Mertesacker says that earning the respect of his team-mates has always been more important to him than widespread praise.

The Germany international has earned a host of plaudits after a superb campaign, and finished second in the club’s player of the season poll.

While the 29-year-old is pleased with the recognition, he insists that maintaining his own high standards remains his priority.

“I think it's better if the team respects me and my performances,” Mertesacker told Arsenal Player. “That's more important for myself, that I'm well known here.

“I want to help the team and that is my target. Everything else comes one at a time. If you play well here, if you are respected well by your team-mates and you perform well then others will get to know more about you.

“So the first step for me was to help my team-mates, to give the right performances. But you have to maintain that level. That's really difficult.”

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