Arsenal in Discussions with Defender Per Mertesacker Over New Contract

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Arsenal in Discussions with Defender Per Mertesacker Over New Contract
(Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Arsenal are set to reward Per Mertesacker for his superb early season form by handing him a new four-year contract, reports Tony Banks of the Daily Express.

The 29-year-old has played a key role in the Gunners' success in storming to the top of the Premier League, and per Banks, Arsene Wenger is set to reward the towering defender:

The German, 29, has been a major part of Arsenal’s success this season with his defensive partner Laurent Koscielny.

Mertesacker who missed Sunday’s 1-0 loss at Manchester United due to a flu bug, still has 18 months of his £65,000-a-week deal to run.

Offering Mertesacker a new deal with such a lengthy period left to run on his current deal is a firm indicator that Wenger is incessant on keeping hold of his top stars as he looks to build a side capable of competing for silverware on a regular basis.

Despite his age, Mertesacker already has 94 caps to his name for the German national side, underlining his credentials as a top defender. Since joining the Gunners in 2011, he had struggled to hold down a regular role in the side but has flourished with Laurent Koscielny this season.

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Mertesacker's impressive performances this season can be backed up by the stats. Performance rating website Squawka have Mertesacker as the second-best Arsenal player this season—with only the superb Aaron Ramsey in front of the German.

His average of six defensive actions a game is only bettered by his central defensive partner Koscielny, again underlining how important the German has been to Arsenal's success this season.

If he and Koscielny can continue their remarkable pairing over the course of the season, it will play a key role in Arsenal's quest to stay at the head of the Premier League pack.

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