Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger offered his thoughts on the transfer of Per Mertesacker. The boss declared that he doesn’t use to buy tall players and that he usually wants smaller players with higher technical abilities.
“Usually, I look at the quality of the player and not at his size,” he said. “Because we play a more technical game, I choose smaller players.”
“But he 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 thinks that Mertesacker still has things to put right before he will play at full potential.
“He must get used to the pace of the game. It is an issue because he was surprised by that but overall he has qualities we need in our team.”, said Arsene.
“He reads well the game, has good communication with the other players and he knows how important it is to communicate. That will play a big part in our season.”
Mertesacker was wanted by Arsenal for the entire summer transfer season, but the deal was only completed in the last week. Coming from Bundesliga to the English Premier League would be hard for any central defender. Bundesliga is a league where strikers are tall and heavy and they usually play with crosses for those strikers.
Coming to a league like the Premier League, where some of the strikers are much smaller than him and much faster means that Mertesacker will have time to adapt and work on his positioning, because once one of the speedy ones like Defoe or Bale has passed him, there’s not much to be done.
It remains to be seen if speed will become a big issue for our tall and handsome guy, or if he will have the same success he had for Germany and at Werder Bremen.