Arsenal players hold talks over gang threats after Mesut Ozil, Sead Kolasinac incident
Watch Watford vs Arsenal on September 15 live on Sky Sports Premier League from 4pm; kick-off 4:30pm
Last Updated: 11/09/19 11:22pm
Talks have taken place at Arsenal about the threat posed by gangs targeting footballers after the attack on Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac.
Academy boss Per Mertesacker has revealed a meeting took place in which it was discussed how to stay safe following an apparent attempted carjacking was caught on camera in July.
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Kolasinac jumped out of a vehicle to confront masked aggressors in the summer, who had pulled alongside them on mopeds, and a separate incident led to two men being charged with a public order offence outside Ozil's house.
"There was a big discussion around gangs in London and the security matters," Mertesacker said. "The major part of what car you drive, what you wear in terms of your jewellery.
"So you need to be risk-aware in those days that anything can happen at any time. And these are examples you are trying to avoid.
"Once these things happen it is an eye opener to where the world is in terms of poverty around London, and how can we make sure that it is not going to happen again?
"When these things happen, the more fences, the more security guys and the more gates will eventually happen - and that would be very, very sad."
In an interview promoting the launch of his autobiography 'Big Friendly German', Mertesacker also said he believes Arsenal are still "two or three years" away from competing for the title, in part due to an imbalance in the squad.
"(Qualifying for the Champions League) is our target this season, there is no doubt about it," he said. "If you speak in time-frame; two or three years is (when Arsenal will be) competing for the Premier League title.
"I think we have a lack of balance right now, where you feel like we have amazing strikers but that, as well, we need to understand that we need to have a certain compactness.
"So it's not only about our three strikers providing an offensive threat. It is about these front-three, leading the first front-line, as well as being a defensive unit. So I think we need to be cautious of that."
Watch Watford vs Arsenal on September 15 live on Sky Sports Premier League from 4pm; kick-off 4:30pm.