When Per Mertesacker first arrived at Arsenal it left many fans putting their heads in their hands. Languid, slow and sluggish were often words used to describe him in his first few months in English football - wait, did I mention clumsy?
He certainly struggled early on to settle into the Premier League game. Never one to claim he is the fastest of players he struggled with the pace of Premier League forwards and many felt he was an instant dud - a glorified Igor Stepanovs, OK that might be have been too harsh.
But one thing we didn’t count on was his intelligence.
Mertesacker is approaching 100 caps for Germany and is a stalwart of the Bundesliga - you don’t get to that point in a career without having something about you - and for Mertesacker it was brains.
He soon adapted his play to the English game and his incredible awareness, positional sense and of course aerial ability has seen him become a hero at The Emirates - especially since forming a solid central defensive partnership with Laurent Koscielny at the heart of the Arsenal defence.
Now the majority of Arsenal fans love the ‘BFG’ and are always looking to see what he might have to be saying on Twitter or Facebook.
But unlike fellow stars Jack Wilshere, Lukas Podolski or Mesut Ozil - who are very active on Twitter, Mertesacker took his account down in November 2011 amid mass criticism after a poor display against Norwich City - which included his howler which allowed Steve Morrison to score for The Canaries.
But today he is back.
He posted this Tweet to fans earlier today to let them all know he was back on the social networking site.
You asked for it ... BFG listened :) I will be back on twitter. Let's see if I can handle this one. More tonight. BFG— Per Mertesacker (@mertesacker) January 16, 2014
And if he was to make a mistake today, we doubt many would be overly critical to the ‘BFG’.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald