Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker has revealed that he is recovering well from the knee injury he suffered in pre-season and is trying his best to return early next year. He is joined by Danny Welbeck on the sidelines, who is also recovering from a similar problem he suffered against Manchester City last season.

The defender has only a year left in his current deal and is waiting for the Gunners to extend his contract, with the north London club also looking at extending contracts for Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. The Gunners have a settled back four at the moment, with the others capable of coming in and doing a job if required.

Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi are currently the first choice centre-backs while Nacho Monreal and Hector Bellerin occupy the positions at full-back. Bellerin is currently out with an ankle injury and Gabriel has slotted in at right-back with consummate ease thus far.

Mathieu Debuchy is out with a hamstring injury, while Carl Jenkinson is suffering from a lack of confidence. However, Mertesacker wants to come back stronger and fight for his place in the eleven. having missed the entirety of the action this season.

"I'm back outside running now, and it feels great, especially to be back with the lads again. My knee has responded well to the intensity so far," Mertesacker said, as quoted by the Evening Standard.

"We're loading the knee in a moderate way and now the next step is to put a bit more weight and pace on it. We're not forcing anything but I feel it's progressing well. Running outside again gives me a huge boost and I hope that it continues to progress well," he added.

Per Mertesacker
Per Mertesacker has stepped up his recovery from a knee injury and revealed that he is nearly fit Getty