Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker believes the current crop of players at the club is perfect for a title challenge but admits that the side need to be more consistent.
The tall centre-back was a key figure for Arsenal and played a crucial part in the club's 10-game unbeaten streak at the end of last season, which saw them jump from sixth to fourth and into the Champions League places ahead of rivals Tottenham.
In an interview to the official Arsenal website whilst taking part in their Far East tour, Mertesacker admitted that he feels the squad have the right blend of youth and experience and believe if they hit the ground running, they could be a real force come next May.
“We have a very good squad, full of potential and we want those qualities to come together,” he said to arsenal.com.
"We have some experienced and some talented younger players - but we need to be consistent, and more than for just 10 games.
“We did that last season when we really had to, but this time we have to be ready from the very start. Therefore you need your experience and for the potential to come out as well.”
When the fixture list was announced last month, a lot of the attention was focused on the north London derby being the third fixture in, but the German defender insists the club need to focus on other things rather than just the Spurs game.
“We are looking forward to the Tottenham game but first we have to think about the Champions League qualification matches,” he said.
“They are vital because our first target of the season is to get into the Champions League group stage. We have to prepare well because I think all the supporters are desperate for us to be in the Champions League again.
“So that's the first target, and we are looking at the first league fixtures, especially the derby game, as well of course.”
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