Arsenal defender unsure if he’ll be fit for FA Cup final

Date published: Thursday 25th May 2017 11:40 - Rob McCarthy

Arsenal’s Per Mertesacker has revealed he has no idea if he is fit enough to start Saturday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea.

The 32-year-old club captain is in contention to start with Laurent Koscielny suspended, Gabriel injured and Shkodran Mustafi struggling to overcome illness. That leaves just Rob Holding as the only fit centre-half to face the Premier League champions.

Should Mertesacker start then it would almost certainly lead to change in formation for the Gunners, with the German unlikely to feature in a back three in what will be just his second appearance of the season due to injury.

Asked if he would be ready if selected by Gunners manager Arsene Wenger, Mertesacker responded: “I cannot tell you.

“I haven’t played this year. But I have done this for 15 years so I expect myself to be absolutely ready no matter what comes.

“That is my mindset, no matter what happens or what is facing me on Saturday, I am going to go for it. I owe this to this team and to this club.

“I want to make sure I will be ready and my mindset is ‘120 minutes plus penalties’.

“(It is) completely unexpected. I made the squad because of two injuries and then I came on (on Sunday in the 3-1 defeat of Everton) due to one red card and one injury.

“It was unexpected but you need to be ready at any time. It was good to get a run out and obviously make my first appearance of the season after a long, long injury. I was very grateful I got the opportunity.”

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