Per Mertesacker may seem like a lifelong Gunner, but the big German center back has spent slightly less time at Arsenal than his last stop.
Mertesacker hit the Emirates Stadium at the end of the Summer 2011 transfer window, and has made 208 appearances for Arsenal.
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Those are two fewer than the number of times he pulled on the Werder Bremen shirt, and it seems possible that number 210 could begin to rise next year.
From Sky Sports:
Officials from Bremen and Hannover, another of Mertesacker’s former club, have publicly declared an interest in bringing the centre-half back home next season.
And current Bremen skipper Clemens Fritz told Bild: “We’ve talked about it [a return to Bremen]. It would be a good thing for the club.”
Fritz, 35, joined Bremen in 2006, the same time as Mertesacker. The club had a rough year during Mertesacker’s last season, and has been a bottom-half team since he left Weserstadion.
Mertesacker says his recovery is nearly complete from a serious knee injury suffered in late July against Lens. He’ll be out-of-contract this summer, and can open discussions with a new club beginning in January.
Though the big man is often derided for his lack of speed, he’s decent in both the possession and defensive parts of the game. If his knee is fine, he’ll still have a few solid years left.