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Mertesacker, who played a starring role in the FA Cup final victory over Chelsea despite only just returning from a long term injury, said he was very happy his relationship with Arsenal
Arsenal’s German World Cup winning defender Per Mertesacker will take over as their Academy manager next year the club announced on Friday.
The 32-year-old central defender — a member of the 2014 World Cup winning team — will remain club captain for the forthcoming season before replacing Luke Hobbs at the Academy.
Mertesacker, who played a starring role in the FA Cup final victory over Chelsea despite only just returning from a long term injury, said he was very happy his relationship with Arsenal which dates back to when he joined from Werder Bremen in 2011 would continue.
“This is the start of an exciting new chapter for me and I am delighted that I will be able to stay part of the Arsenal family,” Mertesacker said in a statement on the club website.
“This season I will remain fully focused on my job with the team and am looking forward to a successful last season on the pitch.
“After that, I look forward to the exciting challenge of helping produce young players good enough to play for the Arsenal first team.”
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said Mertesacker possessed the qualities to move into coaching.
“Per is an exceptional character who is a great example for young players. He is a deep thinker about the game and committed to helping players fulfil their potential,” Wenger said.
“He will be an inspirational figure for everyone connected with the academy.”