‘The captaincy gives me huge motivation'

Per Mertesacker celebrates

Per Mertesacker says being named Arsenal captain has given him a “huge motivation” to return from injury.

The World Cup winner is currently sidelined with a knee problem, but receiving the armband in August has helped him cope with tough times.

“For me this is really huge and a big privilege for me,” Mertesacker told the Arsenal Weekly podcast. “This is a unique club. To be named Arsenal captain, and by a manager who’s served here for 20 years, is a very good feeling.

"To be named captain is great, but that won’t change my mindset, my work ethic or what I stand for"

Per Mertesacker

“I feel really confident of having a good role, of taking that responsibility and having a great season as a captain. That’s what you want from yourself, for the team and for the club.

“To be named captain is great, but that won’t change my mindset, my work ethic or what I stand for. It has been a great five years and being named captain is definitely the peak. I want to make sure that we are successful as a group, and the first thing to take care of is to be myself.

“It was even bigger for me to be named captain despite being injured. That gives me huge motivation to come back but I cannot play the part I want to play. I want to be fit and I want to contribute on and off the field. While I’m struggling with my injury, we’ve got good players and leaders around here to take the responsibility while the captain is out.

“I’m really confident about our group and I feel that we’ve built something over the past few years that I’ve been here. When I’m out, we’ve got enough people to step up. We’ve got huge possibilities. We’ve got lots of examples of young players stepping up to fill in some roles, and being regular. We’ve seen a lot of things year and now we’ve got a lot of great additions, I think we can play a big part in this season.”

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