Per Mertesacker to take charge of Arsenal’s academy squad in 2018

Mertesacker will hang up his boots next summer, but it has been revealed that he will lead the club’s youth setup ahead of the 2018-19 campaign.

He told the club’s official website: “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.

“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.”

Last season, the 32-year-old made just two appearances for the Gunners because of injury, but he put in a man-of-the-match display in the FA Cup final as Arsenal edged out London rivals Chelsea .

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