Per Mertesacker admits struggle to settle at Arsenal

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Per Mertesacker says he is enjoying life in north London this season but admits he struggled to settle initially.

The German international captained Arsenal to a 2-0 victory over Marseille on Tuesday night in another assured defensive display.

Mertesacker has impressed alongside Laurent Koscielny and has firmly shut club captain Thomas Vermaelen out of the starting line-up.

But it wasn't always so rosy for the 29-year-old, who has admitted that he struggled to settle in his first season after joining from Werder Bremen in 2011. 

He told reporters: "The first year was tough for me, a very tough challenge, but the club and the manager always trusted me in a special way.

"I got a big injury in my first year, so I took my time to settle down completely and there were a lot of reasons.

It seems that Mertesacker has truly settled at Arsenal now and has become an integral part to Arsenal's early season title charge.

That fine form has been rewarded by the offer of a contract extension from Arsene Wenger, who is keen to extend Mertesacker's stay at the Emirates well beyond 2015 - the end of his current deal.

He did, however, say that he is in no rush to sign the deal on offer.

"I think it is a little reward that we are talking, he said about the new deal, because I still have one-and-a-half years left. There is no rush but it seems that some people are delighted with my performances at the moment. I am pleased with the situation.

"It took me a while to get to that level. But the manager always trusted me and said I was intelligent enough to cope with problems."

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