His ability to read the game may have been questioned this season, but Arsenal’s Per Mertesacker had no problems telling children all about his favourite books last week.
The German giant popped in to Islington Central Library on Thursday to help celebrate World Book Day.
He read a selection of stories to pupils from Montem Primary School, Drayton Park Primary School and Ambler Primary School, including Hans Christian Anderson’s ‘The Ugly Duckling’.
The Gunners defender said after his visit: “My favourite book as a child was Grimm’s Fairytales so it was nice to have a chance to read some stories to the local children today to celebrate World Book Day.
“If football can help young people to enjoy reading then that’s great and I am happy to play a part.”
Mertesacker is Arsenal’s ambassador in the Premier League Reading Stars programme. The annual programme was launched this month in association with National Literacy Trust and will support hundreds of schools libraries throughout 2013.
The project offers all participating schools an assembly, a trip around the Emirates stadium and a storytelling session.
As part of the celebrations for World Book Day, programmes and activities were held in schools and libraries across the borough.