Per Mertesacker believes Arsenal are ready to challenge for the Premier League title this season.
Arsène Wenger’s side gained more points in the league (42) than any other team in 2015, while they also retained the FA Cup.
Mertesacker says that demonstrates the team’s quality, but accepts that a solid start will be vital if the Gunners are to mount a sustained challenge.
"We’ve shown in the cup that we can be consistent for six games. We want to extend that and show that we are real title contenders"
“We have a good structure and a good base,” he told Arsenal Player. “We’ll try to build on that. We have a good squad, we won’t lose key players, so that’s good consistency.
“The squad will be in a good mood and in good fitness. We have to be because there are plenty of competitors for the title.
“We need to be at our best. We’ve shown in the cup that we can be consistent for six games. We want to extend that and show that we are real title contenders from the start, not only in the second half of the season.
“We want to be ready right from the start and not getting as many injuries as last season would be lovely and good for us.
“The belief is still there - we always had a certain belief in ourselves - and to win trophies back to back is something special, but let’s add that little extra to be a competitor for the whole season.”
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