Isn’t it shocking when you see an experienced, 221-capped defender happy for sitting on the substitute bench!? That was the shocking revelation made by former Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker.
The German international was known for his non-nonsense defensive abilities, despite this, he couldn’t feature regularly for the Gunners throughout last season.
In an interview with German reporters, Mertesacker revealed that it was a great honor for him to have sat on the bench in the final year of his 15 years of active football.
According to the former Arsenal captain, the 2017-18 season was a very challenging one for him as he had to forcefully retire as result of his knee injury.
The injury ruled him out of action for most of the season, however, he was able to make a return to training before the close of the campaign.
After returning to full fitness, the then – manager Arsene Wenger couldn’t give him the green light to feature prominently in the starting lineup due to his health conditions.
As a way to compensate the Germany international, Wenger and the club’s hierarchy agreed to make him one of the club’s youth coaches.
In his recent interview, the retired defender said he was happy with his achievements during his playing days. According to him, it’s a great privilege playing in front of over 60,000 fans.
During his active days, Mertesacker appeared in 104 games for the 2014 World Cup Winner, while he played 221 matches for the Gunners in all competitions.