Mertesacker going to give Arteta ‘selection headaches’ with academy quality

The Arsenal academy operates at such a high standard that Mikel Arteta must be thinking "What's going on?"

That's according to Arsenal's academy manager Per Mertesacker, who says it's his job to give the Gunners boss selection headaches.

In the past few years the club has seen the likes of Joe Willock, Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson and Bukayo Saka progress through the ranks.

And Mertesacker has suggested that this trend will continue, and that Arteta will be struggling to name an XI he'll have so much quality on the training ground.

"We are really keen on giving Mikel Arteta a lot of headaches, you know," Mertesacker told Ian Wright on his YouTube channel for Adidas Home Team.

"He must be thinking, 'What's going on in the academy?' Every year there is the potential two, three players who can step onto that court.

"But I know his standards, I know what he stands for, so I need to prepare the players really well so when they step into the first-team environment they are ready and prepared."

Arsenal left-back Kieran Tierney recently opened up on Arteta's training ground standards, and how he teaches his players to negate the press.

"I've seen all his video meetings, I've been in the meetings together as a team," Tierney said. "Before the games, after the games, and just his analysis is amazing.

"In Dubai for the winter break, I was doing some one-to-one work with him, and that's when I realised 'this is brilliant'.

"Just to me like, he knows what's going to happen in a game and how it's going to happen. What you should do, where you're going to get pressed from and where your options should be.

"You should know where the left mid's going to be, the centre-mid, so you can just play in sync. Everybody's one brain and I think that's perfect."

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