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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Mertesacker hopeful over Arsenal stay

Per Mertesacker believes he will be at Arsenal next season as the German considers himself a vital player at Emirates Stadium.

Per Mertesacker
Per Mertesacker joined the Gunners from Werder Bremen in 2011

- Gunners close in on Sanogo

Mertesacker, 28, has been a regular feature for the Gunners during the campaign, and his consistent performances alongside Laurent Koscielny have kept club captain Thomas Vermaelen out of the first team and on the bench since February.

Mertesacker was linked with a move back to Germany in March, but he insists his future lies in North London.

"I do not think they want to get rid of me after this season here," Mertesacker told German website www.sport1.de. “I have become an integral part of the team and have really earned respect here."

Mertesacker believes the less his name is mentioned in the news regarding a possible transfer away from the club, the better the indications that his career at Arsenal will continue into a third season.

"Sometimes you have to be self-confident enough and just let the press write what they want, but it is always getting quieter in this regard, and that is a good sign," he said.

Mertesacker and his team-mates have one final task to complete: to qualify for the Champions League and clinch fourth spot ahead of bitter rivals Tottenham with a victory at Newcastle on Sunday.

"We must really put a shift in against Newcastle and really give everything again in our last game," the Germany international said. "It was a long, gruelling season, but we will do everything possible to win there."

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