Per Mertesacker gives latest Arsenal injury update ahead of West Brom clash

The Arsenal defender won't be able to switch off from his rehabilitation from a knee injury over Christmas

Per Mertesacker has revealed that he is edging towards full fitness ahead of Arsenal’s home clash against West Bromwich Albion at The Emirates on Boxing Day.

The Germany international hasn’t played a minute of Premier League football in the 2016-17 season after suffering a serious injury during the north London side’s pre-season campaign.

The Arsenal captain is facing a battle to get back into Arsene Wenger’s starting line-up after the Gunners manager signed two centre-halves in the summer transfer window.

England Under-21 international Rob Holding moved to Arsenal in a £5m deal from Bolton Wanderers before the north London club signed Shkdoran Mustafi in a £35m transfer from La Liga outfit Valencia.

However, Mertesacker has revealed that he won’t be able to switch off from all things football over the festive period as the German defender looks to work on his rehabilitation from a serious knee injury.

“We have two games coming up that I probably won’t play in,” Mertesacker told Arsenal’s website. “I can relax a little bit more but I’m going to be with the lads for most of the time to give them support.

“I cannot switch off, I need to train every day to get fit. It will be a different one for me because I won’t have the pressure of playing games, but I’ll train every single day to make sure I’m match fit as soon as possible.

“To spend some time with the family will be good but this is a very important period for us due to our last week, where we’ve struggled performance-wise and results-wise.

“It’s going to be busy, it’s going to be tough and it’s going to be competitive but if you want to be in a good position for 2017, you need to step it up now.”

MORE: The latest Arsenal news and views

MORE: The latest Arsenal player tweets

Arsenal are in fourth place in the Premier League table and nine points behind leaders Chelsea.

Mikel Arteta
Arsenal told to pay £23m for England and Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale - report
Kieran Trippier speaks at England media conference (Photo: Sky Sports / Screen grab)
'He has his heart set on a move': Reporter claims Kieran Trippier wants Man United switch
Thomas Tuchel
Chelsea FC consider swoop for Stuttgart striker Sasa Kalajdzic - report
Jurgen Klopp
Journalist: Liverpool FC have been scouting Donyell Malen for many months
Romelu Lukaku
Steve Nicol warns Chelsea FC about move to sign Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku
Mikel Arteta
Arsenal told to pay £23m for England and Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale - report
Kieran Trippier speaks at England media conference (Photo: Sky Sports / Screen grab)
'He has his heart set on a move': Reporter claims Kieran Trippier wants Man United switch
Thomas Tuchel
Chelsea FC consider swoop for Stuttgart striker Sasa Kalajdzic - report
Jurgen Klopp
Journalist: Liverpool FC have been scouting Donyell Malen for many months
Romelu Lukaku
Steve Nicol warns Chelsea FC about move to sign Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature