Per Mertesacker: The story of Arsenal's friendly giant
The German may have struggled in London early on, but he is now a mainstay in the Arsenal team
Per Mertesacker established himself at Hannover in which he made 74 appearances, breaking through into the German National side.
He then earned a transfer over to Werder Bremen after a successful World Cup in 2006 in which Germany finished third.
At Werder Bremen Per Mertesacker gained the nickname of 'the German pole' by papers, referring to his 6ft 6in frame.
His height may have been a weakness for some but although it sometimes affects his pace, his positioning has allowed him to compete with the best with a successful international career to show for this.
He may also be deemed to be clumsy when making a challenge, however one yellow card in 63 appearances in his last two seasons at Werder Bremen showed he was also able to time a tackle.
He completed 146 appearances in the colours of green and was due a move.
Arsene Wenger came in on 31st August 2011 wanting some experience to accompany his young defence.
Although Mertesacker was not an instant success at the Emirates, he was always selected in the first team showing the regard that was shown from his manager. This trait was also continued at international level, being selected regularly.
Per Mertesacker was accused of not being able to keep up with the English game at the start of his Arsenal career.
This was soon deminished, with consistent game time, he was able to adapt to the game.
The Arsenal fans warmed to him after his north London derby goal in the 5-2 victory and has reassured the defensive duties of the team when the team was under pressure.
At the start of this season he has been able to implement himself on proceedings transferring his successful Bundesliga career into the Premier League.
The signings of Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski have also allowed him to merge with the rest of the team and seemingly able to gain a relationship that could be utilized on the pitch.
He has already completed 59 appearances and is able to enjoy his time in London as well as pushing Arsenal forward this year to achieve a desired trophy.
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