Mertesacker hails Szczesny return

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker hailed the return of goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny from injury as the Gunners prepare to take on Montpellier in the Champions League.

Football News: Wojech Szczesny

By staff

An ankle injury sustained early in this season has limited Szczesny only three appearances for Arsenal so far, but the 22-year-old finally made his long awaited comeback in goal for the Gunners in their 5-2 win over arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.

In his absence, Italian custodian Vito Mannone had done well to fill in between the sticks, although Mertesacker welcomed Szczesny's return into the fold of the first-team and claims the Polish international will improve the defence because he possesses better communication skills.

"We need a good squad in general, we missed Wojciech but Vito did well also," Mertesacker was quoted as saying by the official Arsenal website.

"At the beginning of the season we had a good selection, then a few injuries that were not so good for us.

"He's [Szczesny] good technically, his goalkeeping is very good, he's one of the best I've ever seen. 

"He's a modern one, that means he's technically good, can open up and build up a game very well, and his communication is very good.

"We have to now show that on the pitch, that the communication and understanding is good."

Defensive errors have plagued Arsenal's defence in recent times and Mertesacker continued that trend as he committed a gaffe over the weekend to allow Spurs' striker Emmanuel Adebayor to score against the Gunners.

However, Mertesacker made up for his error with the equalising goal and the German international admitted that he thankful to get on the scoresheet.

"It was kind of relief," Mertesacker said.

"In the modern game set pieces are getting more important so you try and do your best as a defender. To try and make a difference.

"When you make a mistake you have to switch on quickly and do your best for the team. 

"It shows your responsibility and respect for everybody."

The 28-year-old also made clear that his side would go all out for a win against Montpellier at the Emirates Stadium in order to inch closer to qualifying for the knockout stages of the competition.

"This is a very important game for the team. 

"In this part of the season, it is vital to win games. 

"We want to climb up the league table and be in the last 16 of the Champions League.

"The group is still open for the teams, and we have to show we can go through and make clear that Arsenal will go to the next round. We need another good result for us."

Arsenal beat Montpellier 2-1 in the reverse fixture courtesy of goals from Lukas Podolski and Gervinho, and the Gunners can progress to the next stage of the competition if they beat the French Ligue 1 champions while Schalke beat Olympiacos.

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