Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has heaped praise on one of Arsenal’s defenders following Saturday’s entertaining FA Cup final.

The Blues were deemed as overwhelming favourites heading into the clash after finishing 18 points and four places ahead of Arsenal in the Premier League.

However, a brilliant start from Arsene Wenger’s men helped decide the final in the Gunners favour despite the absence of key defender Laurent Koscielny.

Thus, Conte has lauded the attitude of Mertesacker who had patiently been waiting for his opportunity before leading a makeshift Arsenal backline to an FA Cup triumph.

“Per Mertesacker for me is a perfect example for any young professional football player,” Conte said.

“What he did today was just a consequence of an unbelievable attitude every day, even if not selected, until the Everton game in the squad.

“He played his first game tonight and when he was not selected he worked even harder, which is why I pay a special tribute for him tonight.”

Be the first to receive breaking news about Arsenal!