He’s efficient and intelligent! Wenger defends Arsenal’s Mertesacker

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists Germany international Per Mertesacker is an "efficient and intelligent" defender

Per Mertesacker
Per Mertesacker joined Arsenal from Werder Bremen last summer Photo: Steindy

Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal’s Per Mertsacker is an “efficient and intelligent” defender ahead of their London derby against Fulham on Saturday.

The Germany international has been almost ever-present in Wenger’s starting line-up this term, scoring twice in 28 Premier League appearances.

Mertesacker has been criticised for his cumbersome style since moving to The Emirates, but Wenger leapt to the defence of his centre-half, praising the 28-year-old’s qualities.

“Maybe he is less elegant and the visual impression is less pleasing but he is efficient and intelligent,” Wenger said.

“He combines well with both [Thomas] Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny. They are good partnerships. He is a bit better at positional play.

“I have three good centre-backs. I can’t be wrong when I make a decision because all three deserve to play.”

Mertesacker has scored two goals in 66 appearances for the Gunners after a reported £10m switch to the north London side from Werder Bremen.

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