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Wednesday 09 May 2012

Mertesacker hails quality of Premier League

Germany international says he has adjusted to demands of competition

Per Mertesacker was a regular starter before picking up an injury in February

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker says he has relished the challenge of playing in the Barclays Premier League this season.

The Germany international has not featured for the Gunners since damaging his ankle in the 2-1 win against Sunderland on February 11th.

But he was a regular before the injury and, as he continues his recovery, the 27-year-old said he had been impressed with the quality of the League.

"It is at a constant level - that's what makes the Premier League so good"
- Per Mertesacker

"In general you are playing the best players in the world," he told Arsenal's website.

"You always have to perform at a high level.

"It is at a constant level and that is what makes the Premier League so good and so sharp."

Mertesacker joined Arsenal during the transfer window in August 2011 - but he admitted it had taken time to settle.

"Sometimes I felt like it was very hard, especially when I first came here," he said.

"It was tough to settle down [and I was] very quickly into the first squad. There was sometimes a lack of performance but I think you have to go through that to improve yourself.

"I am very comfortable here now, and very proud to be with this club."

Arsenal need to beat West Bromwich Albion in their final Barclays Premier League match of the season on Sunday to guarantee a top-three finish.

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Key Points

  • Per Mertesacker hails quality of Barclays Premier League
  • Arsenal defender says he is now 'comfortable' in England
  • Germany international is recovering from ankle injury