Mertesacker will begin next season at Arsenal

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker says he will remain at the club next season.

The Germany international has endured plenty of criticism since arriving from Werder Bremen in August 2011, with some suggestions he would be sold in the summer.

"I do not think they want to get rid of me after this season here," Mertesacker said in an interview with German media website www.Sport1.de.

"I have become an integral part of the team and have really earned respect here.

"Sometimes you have to be self-confident enough and just let the press write what they want, but it is always getting quieter in this regard, and that is a good sign."

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