Arsenal legend Per Mertesacker is content in the knowledge he was a panic buy by Arsene Wenger in August 2011.
The giant Germany international moved to the club on the final day of the summer window nine years ago after a humiliating defeat to Manchester United.
Arsenal were trounced 8-2 by the Red Devils at Old Trafford and Wenger sought to bring in defensive reinforcements.
Mertesacker arrived at the Emirates on the same day as Mikel Arteta from Everton and Andre Santos from Fenerbahce, while Park Chu-young moved to north London 24 hours earlier.
Despite being effectively rushed through the door, World Cup winner Mertesacker admits he was just happy to be in the Premier League.
“I consider myself to be a panic buy. I’ve got no problems with that whatsoever because sometimes these times are rushed,” the 36-year-old told Arsenal’s Lockdown Podcast.
“Football is rushed, especially when the transfer window is about to close. At that time Arsenal had two or three days to make adjustments to the squad.
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“To join an English team, my favourite English team, and to join the Premier League was something I couldn’t turn down.”
Mertesacker, who now runs the club’s academy, revealed how legendary French manager Wenger managed to get the ‘messy’ deal over the line with Werder Bremen.
“I was with the German national team during those last three days and I had to ask Joachim Low if I could go to London and have a quick medical,” he added.
“In my medical, I met [Andre] Santos, I became familiar with [Yossi] Benayoun, [Mikel] Arteta and Park [Chu-young] very quickly.
“It had to be messy, it had to be rushed. I didn’t care. I was just happy that Arsene Wenger called me and spoke to me in German. I couldn’t really believe it.
“It was so unreal those three days, as I said. To turn down an opportunity like Arsenal Football Club? I would always do it again, in the same format, in the same rush, in the same manner.”
Published at Tue, 20 Oct 2020 18:46:09 +0000