Per finally feeling settled at Arsenal

German defender Per Mertesacker says he 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 and the 29-year-old admits it took him a while to settle following a switch from Werder Bremen in August 2011.

“The first year was tough for me but the club and the manager always trusted me in a special way,” said Mertesacker. “I think it is a little reward that we are talking (a new contract), because I still have one-and-a-half years left.

“There is no rush, but it seems some people are delighted with my performances. I’m pleased.”

Arsenal are not yet mathematically certain of a place in the Champions League knockout stages after Borussia Dortmund’s win over Napoli. The Gunners head to Italy on matchday six, and anything other than a three-goal defeat would see them progress while a draw would secure top spot and with it seeding for the knockout stages.

Meanwhile midfielder Mikel Arteta now wants the team to quickly refocus on the Premier League, and Saturday’s game at Cardiff.

“Cardiff will be very tough. That is why we need to get back and prepare well for Saturday to make sure we get the points again,” he said.


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