The future of Per Mertesacker at Arsenal appears to be very dim. So let’s figure out right here and now what to do with him.
Per Mertesacker’s Arsenal career was severely hindered during a preseason match vs Lens, in which Per suffered a serious knee injury. Since he was supposed to be one of our main two center-backs to commence the season, his early injury foreshadowed the troubles that Arsenal would eventually face during the season.
Yes, Mertesacker’s injury was not all bad for Arsenal. Since we had no reliable, first team quality replacement for Per, it prompted Arsene Wenger to go out and reel in Shkodran Mustafi. Obviously, Mustafi is the much better option than Mertesacker. He’s young, capable of bringing the ball up, and quick; something that we all know Mertesacker lacked.
Mertesacker was set to miss several months after sustaining the injury, and started training once again midway through the season. Even though Mertesacker was ready to come back, he has yet to make his first appearance in this whole 2016-17 campaign. Even with Mertesacker’s veteran presence, Wenger has opted to play center-backs such as Gabriel and Rob Holding ahead of him. Not to forget, Per is the team’s captain. So why has he not been receiving any game time for someone with so much experience and leadership?
The answer to that question lies upon the hands of Wenger. He is the boss so we have no choice but to “trust” his selections. Notice the quotation marks around “trust”. It’s been iffy to place trust in Wenger as we all know this season. Furthermore, here is what Arsenal should do with Mertesacker:
*insert drum roll*
Take a look at the picture above. I know it doesn’t seem like much at first glance, but why keep a player when you never play him? I will state more reasons about why he should be sold, but the main reason is that Per is basically dead weight.
The only real asset he brings to the club is his leadership. However, Koscielny has taken on that role and done quite well. There is no use of having a player when he hasn’t contributed anything in a long time (zero appearances this season) and rides the bench.
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Another reason to sell Mertesacker is a reason I can guarantee we all can agree on: his pace. This is obviously Per’s number one weakness. If it’s not his pace, tell me what his main weakness is. For starters, this is the BPL. You are facing players with lightning speed and players with amazing dribbling skills. Eden Hazard, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling to name a few. There is no way that Mertesacker can handle the pace of today’s BPL.
Mertesacker is also old. He’s 32-years-old and he is way past his prime. He’s not getting any better (or faster) ever again. I will take Rob Holding over Mertesacker any second of the week. Holding is younger and faster with immense potential. We’ve won all eight games this season when Holding has started!
Mustafi has also been a solid replacement for Mertesacker. Mustafi possesses a plethora of skills at the back and also has the ability to bring the ball up and help start an attack. And with young defenders such as Calum Chambers and Krystian Bielik due to return from loan this summer, it pushes Mertesacker further down the depth chart.
Selling Mertesacker also reels in extra money. In a sense, you can say that selling Mertesacker would bring in free money, because he doesn’t play anyways.
Arsenal should really consider this move, because it can be a win-win for both parties. Mertesacker can go somewhere to receive playing time (which he should be craving at 32) and Arsenal can use the money to their own benefit and make some useful signings! Sorry “BFG” (big friendly German), but you got to go!
What do you think Arsenal should do with Mertesacker? Leave your suggestion down below!