Per Mertesacker is Arsenal’s natural leader, claims Gunners legend

Martin Keown says Per Mertesacker has proved himself to be Arsenal's "natural leader" in defence so far this season

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
per mertesacker
Per Mertesacker joined Arsenal from Werder Bremen in 2011 Photo: Per Mertesacker/Facebook

Martin Keown believes that Per Mertesacker has proved himself to be Arsenal’s “natural leader” in defence so far this season.

The Gunners’ impressive start to the campaign has largely been built on a stable central defensive partnership between the German and Laurent Koscielny.

Mertesacker seems to be a natural leader. He’s the one dictating where the line is

Martin Keown

The duo have not lost a league match for almost two years when they have both started and finished games together.

And Keown was full of praise for Arsenal’s first-choice centre-halves after Monday night’s 2-1 win at Aston Villa.

“Arsenal have had some excellent defensive partnerships over the years but there’s no doubt that Koscielny and Mertesacker are now right up there with the best of them,” Keown wrote in the Daily Mail.

“The great thing about the pair is how well they complement each other. Mertesacker is strong and excellent in the air, then you have the agility and anticipation of Koscielny.”

The former Arsenal defender added: “Mertesacker seems to be a natural leader. He’s the one dictating where the line is and how deep they drop.”

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