Date: 7th July 2017 at 2:11am
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While it is not goodbye just yet to our favourite towering German defender, Per Mertesacker today announced he is to retire from football at the end of the 2017/18 season.

The good news, he won’t be leaving The Emirates. Alongside the revelation of his retirement, Mertsesacker also revealed – much to the pleasure of many Arsenal fans – that he is to take charge of the club’s academy for the coming years.

Not always a definite start for the Gunners, the accomplished Germany international has been described by Arsene Wenger as “an exceptional character who is a great example for any player.”

A World Cup winner, as well as well as three time FA Cup winner with Arsenal, Mertesacker has been a solid performer for Arsene Wenger’s side since his move from Werder Bremen in 2011. His performance in last season’s FA Cup final will be on that will stick long in the mind of Gunners fans everywhere, as he kept fiery Chelsea striker Diego Costa firmly in pocket for what was a frustrating 90 minutes for the Spaniard.

Speaking on the upcoming new role, Mertesacker said: “This is the start of an exciting new chapter for me and I am delighted that I will be able to stay part of the Arsenal family.”

To have such a well travelled, well accomplished and steady head in charge of Arsenal’s youth for the forthcoming years can only be a positive for the club. His experience at the top level is almost unparralled by any player at the club, something our ‘big f***ing German’ will almost certainly pass on to the club’s youngsters and help develop them into the next generation of Gooners with ‘big f***ing futures’.