Arsenal defender Per Mertesaker hopes to seal a new contract with the club in the coming months.
The German’s current deal expires at the end of this year and speculation is rife that he will return to the Bundesliga, where his career began.
Reports suggest the 32-year-old is surplus to requirements at The Emirates following the arrival of fellow countryman Shkodran Mustafi.
Since his arrival in North London, Mustafi has made a strong impression, forming a solid partnership with club captain Lauren Koscielny.
The pair have conceded just six goals in ten games, an impressive statistic when comparing Arsenal conceded five in three, prior to Mustafi singing on the dotted line.
Mustafi once Mertesaker's apprentice, now the master
Mertesaker has a big challenge ahead of him to earn his new contract. After a lengthy spell watching from the stands due to a knee injury, the 6’5 central defender must now show that his experience is still required.
It is often talked about that in order to launch a successful bid for the Premier League title a club must possess leaders, and Mertesaker is certainly that.
With 104 caps for Germany and 149 for Arsenal he is as much a coach as a player.
Arsene Wenger’s recent acquisition Rob Holding, is still learning his trade and to have such a senior player within the club ranks would massively benefit his potential.
This type of man management is no rarity. During the 2010 World Cup David Beckham avoided Fabio Capello’s selection, yet travelled with the squad offering guidance to its younger players. However, would Mertesaker be content with such a role if offered regular playing time in the Bundesliga?
The next few months hold a lot of uncertainty for the German, but he has outlined an extension as his number one priority.
All Mertesaker can do is put his all into training and attempt to outshine his competition. Another injury and he may be shown the door come the summer.