Date: 6th October 2016 at 5:12pm
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Per Mertesacker has been speaking of his pride at being named Arsenal skipper this season, and also how it’s motivating him to return as quickly as he can from his injury problems.

The World Cup winning centre half was handed the armband back in August but is yet to play a competitive game this season following the knee injury he picked up during the pre season game with Lens.

With Arsene Wenger at the time saying he was going to be out for a few months – and initial worries he wouldn’t be back until the new year – whilst there’s no fresh update on a potential return date, Mertesacker’s obviously content with his recovery so far.

Speaking to the Official Site, he said of the captaincy.

‘For me this is really huge and a big privilege for me. This is a unique club. To be named Arsenal captain, and by a manager who`s served here for 20 years, is a very good feeling. I feel really confident of having a good role, of taking that responsibility and having a great season as a captain. That`s what you want from yourself, for the team and for the club.’

He added.

‘To be named captain is great, but that won`t change my mindset, my work ethic or what I stand for. It has been a great five years and being named captain is definitely the peak. I want to make sure that we are successful as a group, and the first thing to take care of is to be myself. It was even bigger for me to be named captain despite being injured. That gives me huge motivation to come back but I cannot play the part I want to play. I want to be fit and I want to contribute on and off the field. While I`m struggling with my injury, we`ve got good players and leaders around here to take the responsibility while the captain is out.’

With summer strengthening and the recent run of form this season, Mertesacker was confident about the remaining campaign ahead as well.

‘I`m really confident about our group and I feel that we`ve built something over the past few years that I`ve been here. When I`m out, we`ve got enough people to step up. We`ve got huge possibilities. We`ve got lots of examples of young players stepping up to fill in some roles, and being regular. We`ve seen a lot of things year and now we`ve got a lot of great additions, I think we can play a big part in this season.’

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