Belfast Telegraph

Mertesacker: Arsenal will improve

Per Mertesacker believes Arsenal's flurry of transfer activity ensures they are equipped to improve on last season.

Spain attacking midfielder Santi Cazorla became the latest new arrival at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday after completing a £16million move from Malaga. He joins strikers Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud, who signed earlier in the summer.

The trio have given Arsenal supporters renewed optimism that they may challenge for silverware following seven barren years and Mertesacker insists they are now in a strong position. "I think we have a better situation than last year," the German centre-back told Arsenal Player.

"The team is full of characters, good players and every position has competition.

"I'm looking forward to the season because I think we can show the potential we have in a better way than last year. We need good signings and I feel that these players will help us a lot.

"Giroud is a good striker and I have seen a lot of him in training because he was not out in Asia, so we trained a lot together.

"He made a good effort and hopefully in the games he will show that as well.

"Santi Cazorla has just signed so we will see him in training and in games in the short term.

"Podolski is a confident guy with more than 100 caps for Germany, so he has massive experience. For us to have him here is a massive impact."

Manchester United are in pole position to sign striker Robin van Persie according to reports. Van Persie is training with the Arsenal squad in Cologne, but has refused to sign a new contract with Manchester City and Juventus also interested.

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