Per Mertesacker has expressed his frustration regarding limited playing time after returning from injury several months ago. 

The 32-year-old suffered a knee injury in pre-season which kept him out of action for the first half of the campaign.

However, after regaining his fitness by January, Mertesacker was still not called upon by Arsene Wenger to feature for the first team until last Sunday.

And according to the German defender, the role of only being named on the bench was initially hard to accept.

“I was out for half a year and not available so it was difficult at times,” Mertesacker said

“When I came back new year and started to train with the team, obviously, you want to give absolutely everything on the training pitch and try to support the team as much as you can.

“I wasn’t happy about the role, just being sidelined, but just keeping up with the boys, trying to lift them no matter what happens.

“We went through difficult periods throughout the season but this is really clutch now for us and I think everyone now is eager to play the last game and give absolutely everything for this club.

Even so, the former Werder Bremen star insists his lack of action this season does not mean he is unprepared for a possible start against Chelsea in the FA Cup final.

“I haven’t [really] played this year but I have done this for 15 years so I expect myself to be absolutely ready no matter what comes,” he added

“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.”

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