Arsenal Academy Chief Per Mertesacker has been invited to join the advisory board of the German national team by general manager Oliver Bierhoff.
Mertesacker, a World Cup winner, retired from international football in 2014 after he won 104 caps for Die Mannschaft, ending his club football career four years later.
Mertesacker will be the third member of the group, formed by Bierhoff in the aftermath of Germany's disastrous World Cup defence in which Die Mannschaft finished bottom of the group. He joins former national team head coach Berti Vogts and ex-Adidas CEO Herbet Hainer.
“Per will be part of the new expert advisory board,” Bierhoff told German tabloid Bild. “Per is very much looking forward to the future task, has many interesting views and expresses his opinion.”
This new role for the former defender is not expected to have an impact on Mertesacker’s responsibilities at the Gunners, where he has headed up the Hale End academy since his retirement at the end of last season.
The former club captain’s latest task is to find a replacement for Under-18's manager Kwame Ampadu, who left the club last week to join Arsenal legend Thierry Henry’s coaching staff at French Ligue 1 side AS Monaco.
Arsenal are yet to confirm who will serve as Ampadu’s replacement on a permanent basis but it is believed his former assistant Ken Gillard will step up on an interim basis.