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Arsene Wenger admits Per Mertesacker is out of form


Boss Arsene Wenger says fatigue is the reason why defender Per Mertesacker was not involved in Arsenal's home win against Everton last week.

The 30-year-old announced his retirement from international football with Germany after last summer's World Cup triumph but has struggled for consistency over the past few weeks.

And the Frenchman admits the German is going through a rough patch of form ahead of the last few months of the season.

"We are all here to serve the club and rise above our own individual interests," Wenger said.

"Per [Mertesacker] has played many games and he has a fantastic mentality.

"He has a great mental stature that is absolutely remarkable, and his contribution to the team has been excellent. There are periods where people are a bit less in form and that happens to everybody."

The German international was replaced by Gabriel Paulista against Everton with the 24-year-old enjoying a solid performance against the Toffees.

And Wenger says the defender has enough quality to secure a regular place in the team.

"We bought him for that and of course that's what the target is for him," Wenger explained.

"His English is not perfect yet but he understands more than he speaks.

"He has shown that he's a defender who's committed, focused and can integrate well into our defensive system. For a first game it was a very positive one."

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