Mertesacker to become Arsenal academy manager in 2018

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The German defender will take on a backroom role with the Gunners when he retires from playing at the end of the season

Arsenal have announced that Per Mertesacker will become their academy manager at the end of the 2017-18 Premier League season.

Mertesacker will continue playing for the Gunners for another campaign, before taking on the new role next year.

And Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is delighted that the German defender is staying at the club once he retires from playing.

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“Per is an exceptional character who is a great example for young players," Wenger told the club's official website. 

"He is a deep thinker about the game and committed to helping players fulfil their potential. He will be an inspirational figure for everyone connected with the academy.”

Luke Hobbs will take charge of Arsenal's academy for the upcoming season following the departure of Andries Jonker to Wolfsburg.

Mertesacker is looking forward to the challenge and is pleased to extend his stay with the club.

“This is the start of an exciting new chapter for me and I am delighted that I will be able to stay part of the Arsenal family," the 104-time Germany international said. 

"This season I will remain fully focused on my job with the team and am looking forward to a successful last season on the pitch. After that, I look forward to the exciting challenge of helping produce young players good enough to play for the Arsenal first team.”

Mertesacker, 32, has spent six seasons at Arsenal, playing over 200 games for Wenger's side and has lifted the FA Cup three times.

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