Arsene Wenger confirms Santi Cazorla and Per Mertesacker to be handed contract extensions

Published 09/01/17 

Arsene Wenger has confirmed Arsenal intend to activate one-year extensions to the contracts of injury-plagued duo Per Mertesacker and Santi Cazorla.

Two of Arsenal’s longest-serving and most experienced players, neither Mertesacker nor Cazorla have enjoyed a season to remember, spending more time in the treatment room than on the training pitch.

Though Spanish midfielder Cazorla was in outstanding form during the early weeks of the campaign but suffered a recurrence of the Achilles injury that plagued him last spring during a 6-0 win over Ludogorets in mid-March. He has not featured since and Wenger admits he will not have recovered from his operation before the end of the month.

 The picture is even less positive for Mertesacker, yet to play this season after sustaining a knee injury in pre-season. That blow forced Wenger to spend £35million on fellow German Shkodran Mustafi, meaning his club captain is now at best third-choice centre-back.

However between them Mertesacker and Cazorla are among Arsenal’s most garlanded players, with winners medals from the World Cup, European Championships and FA Cup to their name. It is that experience that Wenger wants to keep in the squad, meaning he will extend the 32-year-old duo’s time at the Emirates by another year.

“We have an option on both of them and I think we will take it,” Wenger said.

“For their qualities as football players firstly but as well for their mental guidance. We need to have a balance between youth and experience. They are important in that.

“The priority first is football player but as well for their mental guidance. We need to have a balance between youth and experience and they are important in that as well.”

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