Per Mertesacker to take charge of Arsenal academy after retirement next season

Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker will take charge of the club’s academy at the end of the 2017-18 season, when he will retire as a player, the club have announced.
Mertesacker will play for the club in the coming season after being handed a one-year contract extension in January, but will also prepare for a switch to a coaching role.
Current academy boss Luke Hobbs, who replaced Andries Jonker when he left to manage Wolfsburg last spring, will remain in the role for the 2017/18 season.

Arsenal club captain Mertesacker told the club’s website: “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.
“This season I will remain fully focused on my job with the team and am looking forward to a successful last season on the pitch.

“After that, I look forward to the exciting challenge of helping produce young players good enough to play for the Arsenal first team.”
Arsene Wenger added: “Per is an exceptional character who is a great example for young players.

“He is a deep thinker about the game and committed to helping players fulfil their potential. He will be an inspirational figure for everyone connected with the academy.”

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