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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

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Mertesacker hopes to emulate Adams

Arsenal's new central defender Per Mertesacker hopes to emulate the feats of his role model Tony Adams, as he prepares to make his debut for the Gunners against Swansea.

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Mertesacker will be required to settle in to Arsene Wenger's side immediately, with Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen out of action for around six weeks after undergoing ankle surgery on Monday.

The German, who moved from Werder Bremen for £8 million during the recent transfer window, is looking forward to the challenge of getting Arsenal back to the glory days experienced when Adams was captain. The Englishman led the side to four league titles and won the double twice under Wenger.

"We didn't get many pictures of him on the television, but Adams was a legend here. He is a special one for me," Mertesacker told the club's official website.

"When I was looking at English football I always looked to Arsenal and he was one of the great defenders when I was 10 or 12 years old. I like the players [like Adams] very much - I have enjoyed seeing them over the years.

"I hope I can improve my performances here and get better and better - I want to be useful for the team."

Wenger has moved to strengthen the squad with the deadline transfers of South Korea forward Park Chu-Young, defenders Mertesacker and Andre Santos as well as late swoops for midfield pair Yossi Benayoun and Mikel Arteta.

Emmanuel Frimpong will return from his suspension, but Alex Song and Gervinho must serve the final match of their three-game bans picked up on the opening day at Newcastle.


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