Mertesacker: Give Sanchez some space

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Per Mertesacker says that he has no intention of pressuring Alexis Sanchez to remain at Arsenal, saying that the striker needs space to make up his mind.

The Gunners captain said earlier this week that he was certain that Sanchez would remain at the Emirates despite the continuing lack of communication from him and his representatives over his decision.

The Chile international has only a single year left on his contract and the lack of Champions League football combined with interest from a number of elite European clubs means that the player is facing increasing pressure from the club and media to reveal his intentions.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Mertesacker said that he believes the 28-year old hitman has done enough to deserve some space in which to make his decision in peace.

"I have not spoken to him," the German said. "He needs a break now. He needs to relax. He has done a lot for us." 

"He played almost every game last season and then the Confederations Cup. You need to leave him alone to make up his mind about what he wants to do.

"He has one more year here and then he makes his mind up. It's his decision."

Mertesacker went on to discuss the knee injury which saw him miss the majority of last season, and described his elation at recovering in time for the FA Cup final – a match which saw him named man of the match. 

“Being able to train and make an impact makes me feel good. And pushing the other players is something I like because, when you are injured, you can do nothing, which was horrible for me.

“Last season was not satisfying for me. The end was a fairy tale, but the way to that was very tough. I want to stay injury-free, be an option for the manager, get picked every weekend. That’s the target," he added.

Mertesacker will retire from playing at the end of this coming season and will take over management of the Arsenal youth academy thereafter.