Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker thinks that the signing of Brazilian defender Gabriel Paulista from Villarreal has given the squad enough depth to finish the season strong and challenge for honours.

Mertesacker believes that following a spate of injuries that has forced players to play in unfamiliar positions the Gunners are now where they want to be going forward.

“We suffered a lot at times with injuries, but also with results. We want a very deep squad and we look much better now,” said Mertesacker while speaking to Sky Sports.

“We have that competition in our team and have an addition with a centre-back now, so I think we have a deep and good squad at the moment.”

The new signing watched from the bench on Sunday as Arsenal demolished Aston Villa 5-0 and is expected to be in the squad for next weekend’s north London derby at White Hart Lane.

Mertesacker also believes that the 24-year-old has the ability to make an impact not only in England but in the Champions League as well.

“He is a talent and I think we will get him to the level he needs because he has that potential,” said Mertesacker.

“From my point of view, it is very promising because we were short at the back, especially in the centre position. We suffered a lot and had to change so many positions.

“It was a needed position to get everyone going and keep him on his natural position is very important.”

The German meanwhile insists that he is taking it one game at a time saying: “It is not our major focus at the moment to look forwards too much.”

“Next we have a very important away game. We are very close to each other in the league, are two London rivals.

“Last season we did quite well at White Hart Lane, so will try to repeat that.

“But now they have a new manager and there has been some change in the squad.

“It will be a good game, with an early kick off, so we need to be fresh.”