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Per Mertesacker Defender to become Arsenal Academy manager next season

In 2018, seven years after joining the club, the defender will retire from football to become the club’s Academy Manager.

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Per Metersacer play Per Mertesacker will become Arsenal's Academy Manager from 2018 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal veteran defender Per Mertesacker will retire at the end of the upcoming season to become the club’s Academy manager.

Since joining Arsenal in 2011, Mertesacker has become one of the most influential players in the Gunners dressing room.

In 2018, seven years after joining the club, the defender will retire from football to become the club’s Academy Manager.

Per Mertesacker and Lucas Perez play Per Mertesacker will play his last season at Arsenal before he starts in his role as Academy manager (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

 

Arsene Wenger had nothing but praises for his captain describing him as an exceptional character. 

Per is an exceptional character who is a great example for young players,” Wenger said in a statement on the club’s website. 

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.”

Mertesacker missed much of last season playing just one game, the FA Cup final 2-1 win over Chelsea.

While he is excited for the next chapter in his life, the defender says his focus in the next one year is ‘to give everything as a player for the club.’

Per Mertesacker play Per Mertesacker has won three FA Cup titles since joining Arsenal in 20111 (AFP)

 

“Dear fans and friends, clear decisions were always very important to me. I felt like that after World Cup 2014 and I take such a decision now again. From autumn 2018 onwards I will be heading up the Arsenal Academy as the “Head of Academy”. Which means at the same time that the upcoming season will be my last one as a player,” he wrote in an Instagram statement.

I am delighted about this future challenge and job at the club who means so much to me. Pattensen, Hannover, Bremen, Arsenal London – these places and clubs formed me and made me the player and person I am today. It is important to me to pass on these experiences and values to young players in the future.”

Mertesacker has won three FA Cup titles with Arsenal since he joined in 2011.

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