Per Mertesacker
Per Mertesacker claims he's being rewarded for his efforts with a new contract at Arsenal.

Arsenal's Per Mertesacker has confirmed that talks are taking place over a new deal with the defender revealing he sees it as a reward for his efforts this season.

Mertesacker made the move to north London in the summer of 2011 and his first season saw him struggling to adapt to the English style of play after spending his entire professional career in the Bundesliga.

The Gunners were struggling with their backline in the following season as well, sealing a fourth-place finish on the final day and looking back on an overall disappointing campaign that saw Tottenham nearly beat them to Champions League football.

But this season the side have excelled in all areas and the defensive line-up appear to have clicked in a way that in recent seasons Arsene Wenger has failed to achieve.

And as Arsenal enter into contract talks with Mertesacker the 29 year old says that Wenger's faith in his abilities have made him the player he is today.

"The first year was tough for me, a very tough challenge, but the club and the manager always trusted me in a special way," he told reporters. "I think it is a little reward that we are talking (about a new contract), because I still have one-and-a-half years left.

"There is no rush, but it seems that some people are delighted with my performances at the moment. I am pleased with the situation."

Arsenal currently sit at the top of the Premier League table and look likely to progress through to the last 16 of the Champions League barring a heavy loss to Napoli in their final group match.

The mood at the Emirates is at an all-time high with supporters hopeful that Mertesacker can help the squad end their long trophyless run that dates back to 2005.