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Per Mertesacker to run the Arsenal FC Academy after retiring in 2018

Per Mertesacker of Arsenal applauds the fans after a Champions League match (credit: Getty Images)

Arsenal have revealed that German defender Per Mertesacker is to retire at the end of the 2017-18 season and take over as their academy manager in a year's time.

The 32-year-old World Cup winner is the club captain and will continue to be a part of the first-team squad this season “while developing his knowledge and understanding of the Academy”, the Gunners said in a statement.

Luke Hobbs is set to continue to lead the Arsenal Academy through the 2017-18 campaign. 

Mertesacker, who joined Arsenal from Werder Bremen for a transfer fee of £8million in August 2011, is excited about his new role.

He said:

“This is the start of an exciting new chapter for me and I am delighted I will be able to stay part of the Arsenal family. 
“This season I will remain fully focused on my job with the team and I am looking forward to a successful last season on the pitch.  
“After that, I look forward to the exciting challenge of helping to produce young players good enough to play for the Arsenal first team.”

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who signed a two-year contract extension after guiding the team to FA Cup success over Premier League champions Chelsea at Wembley in May, believes Mertesacker is well suited to taking his first steps of a coaching career.

Wenger said:

“Per is an exceptional character who is a great example for young players. He is a deep thinker about the game and committed to helping players fulfil their potential. 
“He will be an inspirational figure for everyone connected with the academy.”

In his six years with Arsenal, 6ft 6ins Mertesacker has played 209 competitive matches and scored eight goals. But his 2016-17 campaign was disrupted by injury to the extent that his only appearances were a 37-minute substitute’s outing against Everton on the final day of the Premier League season before playing the entire FA Cup Final when Arsenal were short of defenders.

He won 104 caps for Germany, scoring four goals, and retired from international football after winning the 2014 World Cup in Brazil where he played every minute of his country’s first four matches.


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Per Mertesacker to run the Arsenal FC Academy after retiring in 2018

Arsenal have revealed that German defender Per Mertesacker is to retire at the end of the 2017-18 season and take over as their academy manager in a year's time.

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