Arsenal's attempts to sign Julian Draxler from Schalke hit a snag when the player ruptured tendons in his ankle, meaning he will be sidelined until March.
However, Arsene Wenger remains keen to sign the attacking midfielder during the January transfer window.
According to John Cross in the Mirror, Arsenal believe that signing the Germany international now will boost their chances of silverware this season.
German football expert and former Premier League striker Jan Aage Fjortoft has reported that Mertesacker is keen for Arsenal to complete the signing:
At 20 years old it is likely a player of his talent will have the necessary attributes to adjust to the rigours of the English game with considerable ease.
Draxler, currently an attacking midfielder, is viewed by Wenger as a future striker, and without much in reserve in that department it could come in handy to add some depth to the squad.
Although he is not likely to return from injury imminently, Draxler could add valuable firepower during the title run-in before allowing Arsenal to finally ship out Nicklas Bendtner, who has no long-term future at the club.
With a release clause of £37 million, per Sky Sports, Draxler doesn't come cheap, but his intelligent reading of the game and passing ability would fit into Arsenal's style perfectly.
As reported by football statisticians WhoScored, Draxler's strengths include dribbling, long shots, finishing and through balls. They also note that he is a threat on the counter-attack and strong in the air.
He has only managed one goal in 14 Bundesliga appearances this season, per ESPN FC, a tally that could be improved on. However, his rate of three goals in six Champions League group games hints at an ability to adapt to different styles of play, something which would be useful in the Premier League.
Draxler has previously attracted interest from the likes of Manchester City and Real Madrid, as reported by Charles Perrin in the Express. Although Arsenal have the upper hand in the race for his services at the moment, they may be wise to finalise a deal without the threat of serious competition.