Mertesacker hails Arsenal team spirit

Helsinki: Per Mertesacker believes that Arsenal`s pre-season preparations have brought them closer and made them stronger ahead of the new campaign.

The 28-year-old was a member of the Gunners squad on their recent Asia tour, which brought four wins from as many games, two of which were by a margin of six or more goals, with Arsene Wenger`s men going on to beat Premier League rivals Manchester City 3-1 in Helsinki on Saturday.

It has been a first full pre-season for Mertesacker with the London club, having signed on deadline day in 2011 and spent much of last season`s preparations injured, and the Germany international is enthused by what he has seen so far.

"We`ve had a longer pre-season and more time to know each other better, to prepare ourselves in training," he told the club`s official website.

"I think we have a good team spirit and we`ve built it up, especially in Asia, where we were together for more than two weeks.

"If we stick together more in the first month, especially in the Champions League qualifier [against Fenerbahce] and the first games of the Premier League, we can continue our good run that we had [at the end] of last season."

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