Arsene Wenger does not normally go out an buy players for large sums of money but he spent £10million this summer to bring in German centre-back Per Mertesacker. The other surprise in the arrival of Per was that Wenger does not usually buy tall players! So signing Mertesacker was kind of a shock to most of us but it was the kind of signing we needed.
“We play a more technical game, I choose smaller players. But in Mertesacker’s case, I felt that with Thomas Vermaelen’s injury and the uncertainty we had with him last season when he was due to be out for three days but it turned out to be six months, I felt we needed him.
“Johan Djourou sometimes has a knee problem. So I didn’t want to take the gamble of having just two defenders.
“Mertesacker is a calming presence, he has over 70 caps with Germany so he has experience and people forget he is only 26 years old.”
Wenger insisted that Mertesacker will handle the Premier League well despite people Germany saying that he is too slow.
“He must get used to the pace of the game,” said Wenger. “It is an issue because he was surprised by that, but overall he has qualities we need in our team.
“He reads well the game, has good communication with the other players, he knows how important it is to communicate. That will play a big part in our season.”