Opinion: Does Mertesacker Deserve A New Contract At Arsenal?

Arsenal are top of the Premier League. Arsenal are top of their Champions League. Metaphorically, Arsenal are on top of the world. The Gunners can do no wrong at present, it seems, and for me there has been one man at the centre of that. Not Mesut Ozil and his remarkable creativity, no. Not Mathieu Flamini who has stiffened up the centre of the pitch beautifully since returning in the summer, no. Not even Aaron Ramsey who has scored a shed-load of goals this term, no. The player who has made all the difference, again, for me, is Per Mertesacker.

And now the Express are reporting that the board are ready to give the Germany international a contract extension, which would be like an early Christmas present to fans of the north London club.

Not only has he won 20/32 of his headers this season, but he’s also won 80% of his attempted tackles and completed 91% of his passes, which is beyond impressive.

The German instils a sense of calm around the Emirates. While Laurent Koscielny is scattering around and Thomas Vermaelen slogs it round the pitch, Mertesacker is able to win the ball, take a touch, look up and release the ball effortlessly, to a sigh of relief from the fans, usually.

Does Mertesacker deserve a new contact? More than anyone, in my eyes.