Mertesacker: I want to end my career at Arsenal

N'Zonzi, Mertesacker, Whelan

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker wants to finish his career with the Gunners after signing a new contract earlier this month.

The 29-year-old Germany international agreed terms to stay on at the Emirates until 2017 with a two-year contract extension beyond his current deal that was due to enter its final year this summer.

Mertesacker has become an indispensable member of the first team via his partnership with centre-back Laurent Koscielny in the last 12 months becoming one of the most formidable defensive pairings in the Premier League.

By the time Mertesacker’s deal runs out he’ll be 32 and well into the twilight of his career – with nearly 100 caps for his country to his name ahead of the World Cup in Brazil this summer, the former Werder Bremen favourite intends to remain at the Emirates and see out his career with Arsenal.

“I’m very happy – I think this was a good opportunity for me and for the club to show how committed we are to each other,” he explained.

When questioned as to whether he intends to see out his career at Arsenal, the 6ft6” centre-back responded:

“Yes, of course, that’s the target. That’s what I try to show with this deal – I’m at an experienced age so I think that’s going to be my last contract so I would say yes.”

The German giant had struggled in his first term in the Premier League after arriving from Bundesliga outfit Werder Bremen in 2011 after spending five years with his former club. He had been targeted for his lack of pace but this term he has developed to become Arsenal’s most reliable and consistent performers in a back-line that has kept 10 clean sheets in the Premier League this term.

The pairing of Mertesacker and Koscielny has seen Gunners captain Thomas Vermaelen ousted from favour after being dropped back in March 2013 and Mertesacker’s new contract, which looks set to be his last, could be yet another nail in the coffin for the skipper at the Emirates.

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