Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker was happy to be back on the pitch for the stalemate with Sunderland.

Mertesacker made his first competitive appearance since suffering an ankle injury that kept him out of action for three months in last season's reverse fixture at the Stadium of Light.

"It was a bit weird [being back] but the pitch was much better than Sunderland away!" he told Arsenal Player. "I felt very comfortable so now I just have to go on.

"I did not feel any pain, my ankle is fine and I am looking forward to the next game and the season. It is very important for us to start well and be aware at Stoke."