Mertesacker deal - Secures Koscielny's future at Arsenal too?

Arsenal announced on this Tuesday central defender Per Mertesacker has agreed a new deal to stay on at the Emirates past his current contract, which expires in 2015.

The German international has been a key component of Arsenal’s title challenge this campaign alongside his central defensive partner Laurent Koscielny in the Gunners back line.

Manager Arsene Wenger has been more than a little reluctant to separate the pair, opting instead to leave captain Thomas Vermaelen on the bench for the best part of a year since he was dropped in March last year.

The pair have grown into the Premier League’s most consistent defensive duo, protecting goalkeeper Wojceich Szczesny admirably and achieving no less than 12 clean sheets in all competitions so far this term. The news that Mertesacker, along with club veteran Tomas Rosicky, have agreed to the terms of new contracts to stay on will not only ensure the 6ft6” German remains a key player for the Gunners but will likely also ensure his defensive partner stays.

Laurent Koscielny has improved and developed exceptionally well over his four years at the Emirates since arriving from Lorient in Ligue 1 back in 2010.

Originally seeing his prowess questioned at the back, the 28-year-old has the maturity and experience to forge a formidable back line, aided most prominently by the calm and composed style of defending that Mertesacker typifies at Arsenal.

Koscielny has been linked with a move away from Arsenal, even if somewhat tenuously, in recent transfer windows as he has become more highly rated in the English top tier and across the continent.

But with his partner at the heart of the Gunners defence committed to stay for the foreseeable future, Koscielny will surely be keener to remain in North London.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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