By Matt Farr
Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has signed a new contract with the club – and Arsenal fans gave a mixed response on Twitter.
The former German international was out of contract in the summer, but Arsene Wenger has moved to extend his deal by a further year, despite having failed to make a single appearance this season.
Mertesacker is still recovering from a knee injury he suffered during pre-season, but he had reason to be cheerful after extending his stay at the club.
The club website revealed the news on Thursday.
The 32-year-old was appointed club captain at the start of the season, and has made 207 appearances in all competitions for the club, winning two FA Cup titles.
However, upon hearing the news, fans gave mixed reviews, with some suggesting that the World Cup winner no longer has a role to play at the club.
Here are some of their messages on Twitter:
— Cortez (@AFCLawyer) January 19, 2017
— Matthew Casson (@Casson12) January 19, 2017
— Stuart MacFarlane (@Stuart_PhotoAFC) January 19, 2017
— Manicben (@BenWhoIsManic) January 19, 2017
Mertesacker..I've seen milk turn faster than him, never fit & gets a year extension on 70k a week…..
smh, only at @Arsenal 😞
— 𝐑𝐄𝐃 𝐊𝐄𝐍 🇬🇧 (@4everagooner) January 19, 2017
Mertesacker getting a new contract is a joke, goodbye kos/mustafi partnership 😣
— Katie Louiise ❤ (@katiielouisee21) January 19, 2017
— Jeff Leidig (@DenverGooner) January 19, 2017
Mertesacker faces tough competition to earn his place back in the Arsenal first-team when he returns to fitness, following the arrival of fellow German star Shkodran Mustafi.
Mustafi has formed a formidable partnership with Laurent Koscielny at the heart of the defence, and Mertesacker will have to do very well to regain his place.
But his new deal suggests that Arsene Wenger still values him as an important player within the first-team squad, regardless of whether he is playing or not.
In other Arsenal news, the Gunners are locked in a battle to land this Ligue 1 ace.