Per Mertesacker acclimatising to Premier League

 

German defender Per Mertesacker believes he can go from strength to strength at the heart of the Arsenal backline.

The 6ft 4ins centre-half has taken some time to settle since his £8million move from Werder Bremen on the final day of the summer transfer window.

However, with some 11 Barclays Premier League starts now under his belt, Mertesacker, 27, feels he is slowly becoming accustomed to the hustle and bustle of English football.

"I am feeling good and I think that is the best thing. It was quite a short time for me to settle in and make the transfer happen - it was very close to the deadline so it was a tough month for me," Mertesacker told Arsenal Player.

"I think in England the best players in the world are here. They have a lot of strength, a lot of speed, it doesn't compare to the Bundesliga. The technical [ability] is similar, but the speed and the physical power is different.

"If you have no pre-season with the team then that makes it more difficult. People think it's easy to connect with your club, your team-mates, but it takes time.

"It's getting better and better and hopefully I can keep improving now.

"Let me play a season and you can get [the full picture] of my personality and my ability as a footballer."

Mertesacker has found himself with several partners at the centre of the Gunners' rearguard, which has been depleted by injuries to all four full-backs, but still seen them climb up the Premier League table.

Fit-again Thomas Vermaelen moved across to left-back against Everton to cover for Andre Santos, the Brazilian set for up to three months out with ankle ligament damage, while Swiss international Johan Djourou has filled in on the right after Carl Jenkinson joined Bacary Sagna on the sidelines.

Kieran Gibbs is close to a return from his stomach problem, and could be available for the Boxing Day visit of Wolves, which would be a timely boost for Gunners boss Arsene Wenger as he plans his new year transfer strategy.

Wenger admitted he could be tempted to bring in attacking cover as both Ivory Coast forward Gervinho and Morocco striker Marouane Chamakh are set to be away at the African Nations Cup, with FC Koln's Lukas Podolski one potential target.

When - or should that be if - all of his squad are fit, the Arsenal manager will have more than enough midfield options.

Despite insisting only last week when in Athens that Tomas Rosicky would not be leaving for Olympiacos or any other destination, the Czech midfielder, who is coming towards the end of his current deal, continues to be linked with a January move away from Emirates Stadium.

Wolfsburg manager Felix Magath has confirmed they would be interested in taking the former Borussia Dortmund man back to the Bundesliga should the 31-year-old become available.

Magath told German newspaper Bild: "Tomas is a good player, he is fit no question about it. Only a few years ago, all the top clubs were chasing him."

PA

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn