As the transfer window slammed shut, the majority of eyes were on the transfer movements of Arsenal, and how Gunners were to recover from their recent troubles.
The discussion on everyone’s lips was how the Gunners were to fill the massive gaps left by the departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri to Barcelona and Manchester City respectively. While the sale of Gael Clichy, also to Manchester city, had left a hole in a defensive line that conceded 8 goals to Manchester United on the weekend.
I for one, was surprised by the acquisitions the club has made, surprised of the pleasant variety.
Arsenal swooped quickly for Korean forward Park Chu-Young from Monaco, German defender Per Mertesacker from Werder Bremen, Brazilian left back Andre Santos from Fenerbahce, and experienced Premier League players Mikael Arteta from Everton and journeyman Yossi Benayoun from Chelsea.
Arsene Wenger has picked players who are very tactically astute, as well as experienced. While Arteta and Benayoun are well known in Britain, having plied their trade in the Premier league for a number of years, the capture of German International defender Per Mertesacker is a giant leap for bulking up the Gunners defence.
Mertesacker is of course well known for his great sense of positioning and anticipation of the game; he also features a great disciplinary record, one of the best in the Bundesliga.
Mertesacker said: “I had a great time at SV Werder Bremen and I’m grateful to the club.
“Moving to London enables me to fulfil a dream and a further step in my career.
“The Premier League has always represented a great challenge for me.”
Manager Arsene Wenger told his club’s official website, www.arsenal.com: “We are delighted to welcome Per Mertesacker to the club.
“He is a German international with vast experience and strength and is good on the floor and in the air.
“I believe he will be well-suited to the Premier League and a tremendous asset to the team.”
The man dubbed “The defence pole” in his native Germany; he was first capped for Die Mannschaft at the tender age of 20. Having been capped more than 70 times for Germany, he is widely regarded as one of the best defenders in the world.