New Gunners settle into North London
New Arsenal signings Per Mertesacker and Yossi Benayoun are delighted to have joined the North London outfit.
Mertesacker, 26, was one of four deadline day signings made by Arsene Wenger as he looked to inject quality into a squad that lost the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri in the transfer window.
The last-minute purchases were also a reaction to Arsenal’s embarrassing 8-2 defeat at Manchester United in their last English Premier League match, with Mertesacker – a German international -pleased with his move.
“Of course I did a bit of sight-seeing already,” Mertesacker said of his visit to London.
“I also held up and tried on the jersey a number of times. But I’ve been cultivating the emotional connection for some time – as a young player I even walked around in an Arsenal jersey.”
“It brings back wonderful memories, and they all come together now, which I will address when I go to training or a match.”
Germany boss Joachim Loew feels Mertesacker’s move is a good one, indicating that playing football at Arsenal may help his national team hopes in the future.
“I think it will be very good for his career,” Loew said.
“In England especially at Arsenal, they play a very fast football, a technical very advanced football. So I think with his new coach, in his new team, Per will further develop as a player, as a person. So I’m very happy for him.”
Israeli Yossi Benayoun also joined Arsenal, signing a season-long loan deal from London rivals Chelsea.
“I am very happy, first, to join to a club like Arsenal,” Benayoun said.
“It’s a big club, it’s a good opportunity for me and a big challenge. And, well, when I finish with the national team I am waiting to go back and meet my new friends and start a new challenge in my career.”