Dries Mertens Wiki – Biography
He is a Belgian professional footballer who plays as a striker or winger for Italian club Napoli and the Belgium national team. Mikel Arteta is reportedly lining up Napoli star Dries Mertens as his first signing as a new Arsenal manager. Arteta was announced as Arsenal’s new boss on Friday afternoon, replacing Unai Emery who was sacked at the end of November after a woeful start to the Premier League season. And according to Calciomercato, Arteta is already lining up transfer business and is ready to fight it out for the signature of Belgium international Mertens.
Dries Mertens Age
Born 6 May 1987
Dries Mertens Playing Position
Dries Mertens Current Team
Dries Mertens Early career
Born in Leuven, Belgium, Mertens started his career as a boy at the now-dissolved local club Stade Leuven. It was here that the scouts of Anderlecht first spotted Mertens, ultimately resulting in him being offered a chance to join the club’s youth academy in 1998. He spent five years in the youth setup at Anderlecht before being released in 2003, with coaches finding him to be too short and physically incapable of competing at a professional level. Following his release from Anderlecht, Mertens was signed by fellow Belgian Pro League side, Gent. Following two seasons in Gent’s youth academy, Mertens was loaned to Eendracht Aalst for the 2005–06 season. He excelled with the third division side and was named Player of the Year. The coaching staff at Gent, much like those at Anderlecht before, remained unconvinced of Mertens given his slight frame, however, and loaned him out again the following season, this time to AGOVV Apeldoorn in the Netherlands.
Dries Mertens Napoli
Mertens’ agent Søren Lerby confirmed on 16 June 2013 that the player had agreed to sign with Napoli. He became Rafael Benítez’s first signing as a new Napoli manager after a reported fee of €9.5 million was agreed with PSV. He made his Serie A debut on 25 August 2013, coming on as a second-half substitute for Marek Hamšík in a 3–0 win over Bologna. His first goal for Napoli came on 30 October when he netted the winner in a 2–1 away victory over Fiorentina. In Napoli’s first game following the Serie A winter break on 6 January 2014, Mertens scored his first brace for the club in a 2–0 win over Sampdoria. He then scored Napoli’s second goal in their 2–0 win over Juventus on 30 March, helping inflict only the second league defeat over the eventual champions. In the final of the Coppa Italia on 3 May 2014, Mertens replaced Marek Hamšík in the 64th minute and went on to score in stoppage time, securing a 3–1 win over Fiorentina.
Dries Mertens International career
Having previously represented Belgium at youth level, Mertens received his first senior call-up by national team coach Georges Leekens on 1 October 2010 for the nation’s UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying matches against Kazakhstan and Austria. Though he never featured in either match, Mertens would make his debut on 9 February the following year in a friendly match against Finland in Ghent. He scored his first goal for Belgium on 15 August 2012 in the 125th Derby der Lage Landen. Mertens, having come on as a substitute for Nacer Chadli, scored once and assisted twice, to help Belgium overcome a 2–1 deficit versus the Netherlands and win 4–2.