Arsenal make deadline-day signing as Arsene Wenger spends at last
Germany international defender Per Mertesacker moves to the Emirates for �10m fee
Arsenal fans had implored Arsene Wenger to get his chequebook out, and the Gunners boss has so far obliged with a hectic final day of transfer activity at the Emirates.
Wenger finally ended his long summer search for defensive reinforcements with the �10m signing of Per Mertesacker from Werder Bremen.
That was despite making bids for England duo Gary Cahill of Bolton and Everton’s Phil Jagielka, with the Gunners seemingly priced out of both deals.
They did, however, make a �5.5m move for Fenerbahce left-back Andre Santos, following the confirmation of the arrival of the South Korea captain, Chu-Young Park, in a �2.5m switch from Monaco.
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That takes Arsenal’s total signings for the summer up to seven, including the defender Carl Jenkinson (�1m) and the forwards Gervinho (�10.6m), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (�12m) and the Costa Rican youngster Joel Campbell (�900,000).
Mertesacker was the one fans have been waiting for, with the Germany international having seemingly ruled out a move just 10 days ago but swayed by an approach from Wenger last weekend.
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The 26-year-old is 6ft 6ins tall and looks to be the commanding defender Arsenal fans have been crying out for Wenger to sign during the past six trophyless seasons.
Mertesacker made his debut for Germany at the age of 20 and has now won 75 caps, including in their runs to the World Cup semi-finals in both 2006 and 2010.
Given the state of Arsenal’s defence in the 8-2 slaughtering at Old Trafford on Sunday, he may go straight into the side for the game after the international break against Swansea on September 10.
While Arsenal supporters were glad to see Wenger active in the market, there was no doubt that many were impressed by the late nature of the deals and some of the players involved.
Wenger made it clear he wanted a defender at the end of last season, and also said he wanted a player with Premier League experience, and yet waited until the final day of the window having missed out on his main targets.