Arsenal have announced that long-time defender Per Mertesacker will hang up his boots next season to become the club’s new academy manager.
The centre-back has been among the Arsenal fabric since 2011 when he joined from Werder Bremen.
During his time at the North London outfit, he has won three FA Cups and become a fan favourite.
A knee injury severely limited his time on the pitch last season, restricting Mertesacker to just one Premier League cameo as a substitute and another appearance in the FA Cup final.
When Shkodran Mustafi was signed last summer, it became clear that Mertesacker was being edged out of the side, and the 32-year-old is expected to play a bit-part role in the 2017-18 campaign.
Arsenal are not prepared to say goodbye to the German, though, as they will hand him the role of overseeing the club’s youth talent when he retires from playing next summer.
We've got some big academy news… https://t.co/A1UgNiwpxS
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) July 7, 2017
— Per Mertesacker (@mertesacker) July 7, 2017
As expected, plenty of Arsenal fans are excited about the major development.
After that performance in the Cup Final, Per can do whatever he wants 👊🏻
— REDaction Gooners (@REDactionAFC) July 7, 2017
CAPTAIN, LEADER, LEGEND, GIRAFFE, YOUTH DEVELOPER, CHELSEA SLAYER, FA CUP WINNER.
— ali (@aliladiere) July 7, 2017
I love this move. Per is a fantastic leader and a great servant. Great to see us promoting from within. Great addition along with Jens. 🇩🇪
— K. O'Shaughnessy (@OShaughnessyK) July 7, 2017
Love that…. great appointment and great man…. ask my son who led Per out v Barca 😉 pic.twitter.com/lOqV2jYWQq
— Tony / Bud @ LeGrove (@Tony_Massenhove) July 7, 2017
Woah! Big news! Best of luck, BFG 😁
— Himamshu Srivathsa (@OzilohoIic) July 7, 2017
YESSS. Fully deserved! Excited for @mertesacker. 🇩🇪🇩🇪
— B Larsen | Arsenal (@BLarsenAFC1886) July 7, 2017
The next Arsenal manager, I can see it. He'll be amazing manager. Help us bring the winning mentality this season 😉
— Nevena Nena (@NenaCOYG) July 7, 2017
I love this news ❤️
— Craig (@CraigWescott1) July 7, 2017
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