Naturally, Gunners manager Arsene Wenger was thrilled to confirm the signings, per Arsenal.com:
We are delighted that Mertesacker and Rosicky have committed their futures to the Club. They are players of exceptional quality and experience, and have consistently proven themselves at the highest level. There is a great feeling of togetherness and belief in the group and this news will only help to strengthen this further.
Rosicky, 33, has been excellent at setting the tempo for Arsenal in midfield since arriving back in May 2006. Mertesacker, 29, is a consistent defensive force for the Gunners who has developed comfortably into his role since joining the North London club in 2011.
Although Rosicky's numbers don't necessarily wow, on several occasions Wenger has highlighted his ability to dictate the tempo and sense when and where to accelerate the pace of play. Rosicky is not only a phenomenal dribbler and a calm presence on the ball, but he's a sensational passer capable of creating for himself and others.
Rosicky signed with Arsenal eight years ago after spending several seasons with German club Borussia Dortmund. In addition to starring at the club level, Rosicky has scored 21 goals in more than 90 appearances with the Czech Republic national team since 2000.
Like Wenger, the fan favorite was excited to extend his deal, per Arsenal.com:
I'm very happy that I'm staying at the Club. I'm proud that I'm still here after a long time and that it still continues. I'm glad I'm here at Arsenal and we’re all trying our best to win trophies for the Club and our supporters.
On the other hand, Germany's Mertesacker overcame a challenging start at Holloway to eventually make his presence felt as a tall, physical defender with a nose for goal. The extension is without a doubt the right move for Arsenal, who have locked down one of Europe's top defenders and a player essential to winning titles, per Arsenal.com:
It was easy for me to commit myself to the Club. I have been here for two and a half great years and feel I have great support from everyone at the Club and the fans. I’m really looking forward to having more years coming up with this fantastic club. We have a great team here and we all want to do our best to win trophies.
The 6'6" center-back is also closing in on 100 career appearances with the German national team, for which he's scored four goals since making his debut in 2004.
With Rosicky and Mertesacker agreeing to an extension, Arsenal maintain the sturdy foundation necessary to compete for and ultimately win titles in the future. In addition to the skill set Wenger covets, Rosicky brings experience and leadership to the pitch while Mertesacker offers much of the same along with consistency.
Neither player is going to propel Arsenal to the next level all by himself, but their presence is a major positive for a contending club on the verge of winning meaningful titles.
Regardless of how the season concludes for Arsenal, Gunners supporters have to be thrilled knowing two of their influential favorites will be sticking around.
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