Arsenal announce World Cup-winning star to retire and take charge of academy

first_img1 Per Mertesacker will retire at the end of the 2017-18 season Arsenal have announced Per Mertesacker is to retire at the end of the season and take charge of the club’s academy.The World Cup-winning German defender missed the majority of last season with a serious knee injury, making only two appearances. Having returned to full fitness, he will remain part of Arsene Wenger’s squad for 2017-18 and see out the final year of his playing contract before starting his new role.“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,” he 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 has made 210 appearances for Arsenal since arriving from Werder Bremen in 2011 and has helped the club claim three FA Cups during his time in north London.“Per is an exceptional character who is a great example for young players,” said Gunners boss Wenger.“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.”last_img read more