Tag Archives: Shkodran Mustafi

Arteta has Mustafi headache

3 weeks ago it was all clear.

Pablo Mari had joined the club on loan, a deal which Arsenal would likely make permanent in the summer.

He would become Arsenal’s 6th central defender in the squad that already contained David Luiz, Sokratis, Rob Holding, Calum Chambers and Shkodran Mustafi. With William Saliba set to arrive in the summer.

That would make it 7 central defenders at the club, with Arsenal heavily linked with an 8th in Dayot Upamecano.

Chambers has a long term injury, with is being unclear when exactly next season he would be back. Mustafi would surely leave – with a year left on his contract and clearly out of favour. That would leave Arsenal needing to shift one more defender – either Luiz or Sokratis – to bring the number down to 5 (excluding Calum Chambers).

2020/21

New signing
Pablo Mari
David Luiz or Sokratis
Rob Holding
William Saliba

2021/22

New signing
Pablo Mari
Rob Holding
William Saliba
Calum Chambers

But then the recent form of Mustafi has thrown a spanner in the works.

Mustafi has started 8 of Mikel Arteta’s first 11 games – the 3 he missed due to injury. He is clearly in favour for the new manager.

Not only is Mustafi back in favour but he is also playing well. Well enough to give Arteta and the team a bit of a headache for next season.

A decision needs to now be made on Mustafi’s future. Does his recent good form and Arteta liking him result in him remaining beyond this season?

If Arteta does want to keep him, a new contract would have to be offered as his current one runs out in 2021.

Arsenal then need to decide what they do…

Would Mustafi staying meaning no new first choice central defender?
Or would it Mari no longer join us on a free?
And what for Sokratis who has now fallen behind Mustafi?
Then you have Rob Holding who has struggled to return following his injury…

Plenty to think about as the season comes to a close.

Keenos

What now for Shkodran Mustafi?

And we awake this morning following the transfer window slamming shut on mainland Europe with Shkodran Mustafi still an Arsenal player.

The question is what will Emery do with the German international? And what will Mustafi himself do?

Mustafi has yet to play a single minute this season and Emery made it abundantly clear that he is no longer part of his plans.

On the opening day of the season, with David Luiz having only just signed, emery went for Calum Chambers in defence alongside Sokratis. Mustafi was not even on the bench.

With Rob Holding close to a return, Mustafi is, at best, Emery’s 5th choice.

In the Europa League this season, Emery will go for a partnership of Holding and Chambers. If either of those are out, he will probably look younger – at Kostadinos Mavropanos or Zech Medley, rather than playing Mustafi.

Emery now has a player he does not want at the club. Does he ostracise him? Stick him training with the kids, or even on his own? Mustafi is a popular member of the squad, and that decision could do more harm then good.

And what for Mustafi and his ambitions? It is surprising that he did not push harder to leave. He turns 28-years-old this season, is he really willing to rot in the reserves?

One potential  option could be Russia. Their transfer window does not shut until This Friday, the 6th of September. Other than that, it looks like it will probably be a January move for him.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan leaving for Roma yesterday alongside Mohamed Elneny and Nacho Monreal  leaving the day before has wiped off over £45million from Arsenal’s yearly wage bill. With incoming players, including the Dani Cebellos loan deal, Arsenal would have knocked off around £20million from the costs.

Raul Sanllehi has reduced Arsenal’s wage bill whilst increasing the quality of the squad. 3rd has to be the minimum target this season.

Keenos

Loan deal the best option for Missing Mustafi

In Arsenal’s opening game of the season, it was Calum chambers in the starting XI with David Luiz the only defender on the bench.

At the weekend against Burnley, the pair swapped positions with Luiz starting and Chambers on the bench.

For the 2nd week in a row, Unai Emery was unable (or unwilling) to find a space for Shkodran Mustafi.

Last Thursday the club released an update about Rob Holding. The Englishman is back in full training and will probably be back in the team for the 1st Europa League group game in a months time, where he will partner Chambers.

Holding’s return will push Mustafi further down the pecking order. 5th choice centre back. It is a clear indication that Emery does not want him. But as time goes on, doors will begin closing on the German.

The English transfer window shut on August 9th, the eve of the new season, but across Europe windows are still open for a limited time.

In recent days, Mustafi has been linked to Roma. The Serie A window shuts on the 2nd September.

Likewise a move to Monaco would have to also be completed on the 2nd September. It is the same date if Mustafi is to return to France or Germany.

An outside bet is Turkey, their window shuts on 1st September.

With Arsenal currently holding out for £25million+, a loan option may well be the end result.

If a club is will to pay his £90,000 a week wages, Arsenal might be willing to let him go if a side stumps up a £7million loan fee – that is the cost of Mustafi’s amortised transfer fee within the accounts following his £35million move from Valencia in 2016.

That would save Arsenal nearly £12million and in a year’s time, the club would be willing to accept a much lower transfer fees, potentially in the region of £15million.

Arsenal are making it clear and obvious to Mustafi that his services are no longer required.

It is now up to him whether he has the ambition to push for a move, or is happy sitting around for 2 years picking up nearly £10million and not playing.

Watch this space…