'Leader' Mertesacker impresses Wenger

27 September 2011 01:05

Just a month after joining Arsenal, Germany defender Per Mertesacker is already showing his leadership skills, Gunner's boss Arsene Wenger said ahead of Wednesday's Champions League clash with Olympiakos.

"Per is getting stronger and stronger," said the Frenchman, as reported by SID, an AFP subsidiary.

"He is calm, intelligent and he is now showing clearly that he can lead the defence."

Mertesacker, who turns 27 on Thursday, will be hoping to celebrate with a win when Arsenal host Greek side Olympiakos Piraeus in Group F at the Emirates Stadium.

He joined Arsenal on August 31 and is showing the experience which has seen him win 76 caps for Germany, including appearing in the Euro 2008 final and last year's World Cup semi-final defeat to Spain, as Germany finished third.

"If the coach is praising me, that is of course a great thing to hear," said the ex-Werder Bremen defender.

"But I have to keep working on things, I know I can play even better.

"I want to put in some good work, especially on defence, that is my job."

Mertesacker played in Arsenal's 1-1 draw at Dortmund in their opening Champions League match a fortnight ago.

Source: AFP