Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Per after 'Reward' of New Contract

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Per after 'Reward' of New Contract

Article excerpt

GERMAN defender Per Mertesacker finally feels settled at Arsenal and would welcome the "reward" of a new contract offer.

The 6ft 6ins centre-back has grown in stature at the heart of the Gunners rearguard alongside Laurent Koscielny this season, the duo helping secure another clean sheet in the 2-0 win over Marseille at the Emirates Stadium which put Arsenal within touching distance of the last 16 of the Champions League.

The 29-year-old admits it took him a while to settle following a switch from Werder Bremen on transfer deadline day in August 2011, with an ankle injury later ruling him out of Euro 2012.

Now, though, Mertesacker - who has become a cult favourite with Arsenal supporters - intends to make the most of his consistent form to help drive the Gunners on to success both in the Barclays Premier League and in Europe.

"The first year was tough for me, a very tough challenge, but the club and the manager always trusted me in a special way," said Mertesacker. …

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