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Per Mertesacker: ‘As Arsenal academy manager I will challenge the players’ mindsets’

In an exclusive extract from his new book, the former defender explains what he learned during his career and how footballers must do more to condition their bodies

I invested a lot in my fitness. My personal network [of therapists] cost me 10% of my net salary, several hundreds of thousands of euros. But it was absolutely the right decision and it paid off as after two seasons I extended my contract by a further three years. I wouldn’t have been able to play for a top club for seven years in the Premier League without these additional therapies.

Related: Per Mertesacker: ‘Some fans want a selfie but sometimes I want to say: Let’s just shake hands’

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