With Wenger looking for experience and value, Mustafi is a near perfect option. Half a century of Serie A appearances for Sampdoria saw him gain a move to Spain, Valencia picking up the German international for a bargain price; a rumoured €8m. His quickly put together partnership with Nicolas Otamendi sought plaudits from those watching on, Mustafi even a slight bright spark in what was a dim past season for the Valencian club.
The 24-year-old is mature in his decision making, trusted by his club and international coaches. His relaxed nature allows him to deal with pressure, keeping his head and passing confidently from the back. Using his intelligence, Mustafi is rarely out of position or late to the tackle. The German asserts a sense of authoritative calm on the field and is well rounded in his qualities, capable of performing a number of tasks in a number of roles.
Despite his moderate age Mustafi has a vast footballing education and a wealth of experience. His youth experiences in Germany and in England, with Everton, helped him develop a combative spirit whilst spells in Italy and Spain have refined his intelligence and passing abilities.
Marco Reus’ misfortune was Mustafi’s advantage, taking the forwards place in the Germany squad for the 2014 World Cup. Subbed in twice in central defence, Mustafi coped extremely well and was even trusted to play right-back in the round of 16 but was unfortunate as injury cut his tournament short. Two years later he started against Ukraine in EURO 2016, heading home the opener for his country.
With a shortage of senior central defenders in the squad, Arsenal have struck gold. The combination of experience, utility and calmness makes Shkodran Mustafi’s transfer a no-brainer for Arsene Wenger and his men. Mustafi would look to consolidate his place in central defence but his dependability at right back would have been looked at and appreciated.
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