BLOEMFONTEIN, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 27: Per Mertesacker of Germany and Steven Gerrard of England battle for the ball during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Round of Sixteen match between Germany and England at Free State Stadium on June 27, 2010 in Bloemfontein, South Africa. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
According to the BBC and various media outlets, Arsenal are in advanced talks to sign 26 year old year Werder Bremen defender Per Mertesacker, for a fee reported to be about £9m. Mertesacker, the Werder Bremen captain, has just one year left on his contract, and was strongly linked with Arsenal last summer, before he eventually stayed at Werder Bremen. At 6'6 and with 75 caps for Germany, he has some of the requirements that Arsenal fans have been calling for: Experience and height.
There, are, however, concerns over Mertesacker's pace, though he does have good positional sense, and is an excellent, clean tackler: He's only been booked 6 times in his Bundesliga career, an excellent disciplinary record. Hopefully he can spread that to Mssrs Song, Gervinho, Frimpong, Wilshere and Jenkinson. With his height, he should have no problem adjusting for the Stokes of the this world, and if his positional instincts are good, he should be an excellent partner for either Laurent Koscielny or Thomas Vermaelen. Mertesacker has also said that he has followed Arsenal since he was a small boy, which is nice.
It's looking like a very interesting last 39 hours of the transfer window.