Per Mertesacker knows exactly what he wants to do when he hangs his boots up at the end of this season.
The World Cup winner has been developing his coaching skills ahead of taking over as our head of academy for the 2018/19 season – and has been joined in his Uefa B Licence sessions by another one of our stars, Jack Wilshere.
“I asked him if he wanted to join me and develop his coaching skills a little bit, to start from the bottom really to find out more about coaching and change his perspective a little bit,” he told the Arsenal Weekly podcast.
“He was up for it and happy to do a little bit of extra work to get going, not only to plan something after his career, but also to improve and change his perspective. That helps at times, to learn more about the game and himself.
“Even now, it’s quite helpful to see people in different environments and in situations where you go together, where you improve together. I’m quite happy that we’ve been doing it together because I’m not on my own, so we can share some information and share the work. Hopefully we can improve there and get our B Licence to start from there.
“He kicked it off at Bournemouth last year,” Mertesacker added. “I think that’s something he was aware of when he was not at Arsenal. Just asking me his questions showed he was up for it. I asked him if he’s committed because I expect commitment. When I do something, I expect a lot of discipline from myself and he’s committed.
“It’s started well but it’s about consistency. As we do things together, we sacrifice things together, spend time together and it’s also quite interesting to get to know Jack a bit better from a different perspective, not only from a footballing perspective. It feels like we are bonding quite well and I’m happy that he’s joined me.”