The Gunners have endured a poor start to the season, but Wenger believes that the German can have a stabilising influence over the defence, similar to that of Adams in his prime.
"He is a little bit like that (Adams)," said Wenger. "Not the quickest but he uses his brain well. Mertesacker is getting stronger in every single game. He is getting more aggressive. I like him personally. He's a very intelligent player and will be a big asset for us.
"I think Mertesacker can be a talker. Trust the Germans, he is a fighter. I am happy with what I see from him. Many times people judge you quickly. I am happy with the buys we made. I am not happy with the results, that is completely different."
The Gunners go into the match in 15th place in the Premier League table, while Steve Bruce's side are one place below them.