Per Mertesacker

Arsenal star Per Mertesacker has revealed that he retired from international football to concentrate on his club football as he feels the Gunners have greater need for him.

The German international feels he can become a better player following his retirement from the national team post the World Cup.

The 30-year-old defender, who won the World Cup with Germany, believes that he can now rest and refuel during the international breaks, so as to keep fresh for the entire season for Arsenal.

"I reflected and last season was very tough. This season won't be less intense so I needed a chance to rest and refuel. I want to push forward with the club now to show I can still improve," Mertesacker told Arsenal's official site.

"I realised over the last few years that the club really needs me and that was a big motivation to win something with them and then with Germany. Now I'm really focused to do even more with Arsenal," the Gunners vice-captain added.

The former Werder Bremen defender, who has been at Arsenal for three years, feels that he is more connected with the club now after understanding more about the fans, their culture and the history of the club.

Being one of the senior players in the team, he has taken the responsibility to lead by example and believes that his retirement from the national team has given him the opportunity to do more for the club he loves.

"There's even more respect and support here than I expected when I signed. This club has topped everything and I'm really proud to be part of it, especially after learning more about the fans and its history," the Gunners defender explained.

"As vice-captain I feel more responsibility for my work here and I want to achieve more in my next three years with Arsenal. One chapter has closed and the other one has opened even more, that's how it feels for me," Mertesacker concluded.