Reports are emerging over Juventus’ rising interests in Arsenal defender, Shkodran Mustafi. The Serie A giants are considering him as an alternate option to Diego Godin and Unai Emery is already preparing for life without the German centre-back. Most Gunners fans will be happy to show Mustafi the door but at the wake of a new era at the Emirates, is it really a necessity to sell him?
Arsenal have just announced the signing of Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund who is almost guaranteed a starting spot with Laurent Koscielny glued to the sidelines with an Achilles injury. Emery has also handed Calum Chambers a new long-term deal, keeping Rob Holding also in the squad as a provisional backup.
Mustafi has failed to meet expectations at North London since making his switch from Valencia for £35m. Despite all of his talents, the 26-year-old has made dodgy errors in the Arsenal backline on a consistent basis and ended up costing his side at crucial moments of the 2017/18 campaign.
Not only did he fail to fulfil his defensive responsibilities, somehow his partnership with Laurent Koscielny does not bode well for the Gunners in the long term. There have been multiple instances where just basic communication errors have led to the duo letting in goals or giving away free kicks in dangerous areas.
In two of previous season’s Premier League fixtures against Southampton and Newcastle United, Mustafi highlighted his incompetence by making disastrous mistakes at the back. His lacklustre attitude and woeful marking inside the penalty box allowed strikers like Shane Long and Ayoze Perez to get easy shots from close range and eventually to give their sides the lead.
In turn, Mustafi was dropped from Joachim Low’s final 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, despite keeping a place in the last international tournament and helping his country lift the prestigious trophy. His overall involvement for Arsenal has been in 75 games during which he has delivered with 5 goals and 4 assists on the offensive end. Maybe the time is now for the Gunners to draw a line and to trim the unnecessary pieces out of the squad.
Under Arsene Wenger, the North London outfit finished in the 6th spot of the Premier League for the second time in a row and also got knocked out of the UEFA Europa League by Atletico Madrid. Emery has been tasked with returning the club to Champions League football and to title-winning ways. Maybe Mustafi can be cut off without harbouring a giant loss and the transfer fee reinvested in a more necessary addition.
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