By Dominic Toner
Arsene Wenger has revealed that he will enter the transfer market for a new defender.
“We have to look for an option to get a bit more experience. We will see some of our young centre backs on Thursday as well,” Wenger told Arsenal’s website. “With Per being out, we are a bit short on the experience front and we are looking to bring somebody in.”
The Daily Mirror report that Hoffenheim centre-back Fabian Schar is a possible target and the 24-year-old is being monitored after shining at Euro 2016.
The former Basel centre-back made 24 Bundesliga appearances last season, as his side narrowly avoided relegation finishing in 15th place.
Mertesacker was pushed closely by Brazilian Gabriel Paulista in the battle to partner Laurent Koscielny at the heart of the defence last season but ended the campaign in the team.
The 2014 World Cup winner has made 207 appearances in all competitions since joining Arsenal in 2011 and his experience will be a huge miss.
Arsenal will face an MLS All-Stars side on Friday and Wenger could be able to get a good look at some of his untested defensive options.
New 20-year-old signing Rob Holding could be one possibility for the defence this season but the England Under-21 defender lacks the maturity of top-tier football.
Team-mate Calum Chambers could provide a different option for Wenger but he looks set on bringing in an experienced defender to rely on.
In other Arsenal transfer news, the club have made a decision on their £43million-rated forward target.