Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker will hang his boots at the end of next season to become Arsenal’s Academy manager from the summer of 2018.
Mertesacker, 32, who joined Arsenal in 2011 expressed delight at the new responsibility which starts after he finishes the 2017/2018 season as a player at the club.
“This is the start of an exciting new chapter for me and I am delighted that I will be able to stay part of the Arsenal family,” Mertesacker said.
“This season I will remain fully focused on my job with the team and am looking forward to a successful last season on the pitch. After that, I look forward to the exciting challenge of helping produce young players good enough to play for the Arsenal first team.”
Luke Hobbs has been in charge of the academy on an interim basis since Andries Jonker left for Wolfsburg earlier this year, but he will move aside for Per to take over at the summer.