3 best Arsenal centre-backs of the Emirates era

  • Arsenal haven't been blessed with an endless list of stout centre-backs since moving to Emirates
  • William Saliba has helped turn defensive fortunes under Mikel Arteta
  • Laurent Koscielny & Per Mertesacker developed stout partnership
Manchester City v Arsenal - The FA Community Shield
Manchester City v Arsenal - The FA Community Shield / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages
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2. Per Mertesacker

Per Mertesacker
Arsenal v A.F.C. Bournemouth - Premier League / Ian Walton/GettyImages

Per Mertesacker joined the Gunners from Werder Bremen in 2011 and became a fan-favourite across his spell in North London. Standing at 6ft 6in, the Germany international became a key component of Arsenal’s backline.

The German made over 200 appearances and was named captain of the club in 2016 following the retirement of current Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta. Mertesacker was  renowned for his ability to read the game. He was far from the quickest player on the pitch but he still managed to be exactly where he needed to be, a testament to his skill.

In 156 Premier League appearances, Mertesacker kept 57 clean sheets and conceded only 158 goals, averaging just over one per game. An incredible feat over a span of seven years.

During his time at the club, Mertesacker won three FA Cups and two community shields before eventually retiring at the club in 2018. The German has been the manager of the entire Arsenal Academy ever since.

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