This is the fifth installment in a series of Arsenal Football Club player profiles that I am creating. The articles are aimed at fans who are either new to the Gooners or new to the game. Read, comment, compliment, ridicule, enjoy.
Following the closely contested 8-2 loss at Old Trafford, Arsene Wenger begrudgingly broke precedent and bought a player on the open market on final day of the 2011 summer transfer window. That player was former academy graduate Per Mertesacker who signed a four year deal upon his arrival to the Emirates. Mertesacker is everything that fluid footballing sides of the modern era need. He has above average strength, is incredibly adept in the air due to his six foot six frame, and doesn't need to mark in free kick situations due to his size. Further, his long strides cover more ground than other outfield players thus, theoretically, he is fast. That he struggles on the counter, or when isolated, or in individual defending situations, or during an opponents tempered build-up play is no matter. The team he plays for, remember, is Arsenal F.C., and they always have the ball. For this reason, Per Mertesacker is the perfect fit for an matchless squad. Look for him to collect no less than five red cards in the Premier League calendar this year.
Wenger Quote: "I grew up in Strasbourg you see, very, very close to the German border. When I see that a German defender wants to come to Arsenal I say mais, oui this makes much sense. He is tall, maybe a German Nicklas Bendtner. I like the idea of this very much."