There looks to have been a massive update regarding the chances of Arsenal signing Shkodran Mustafi this summer, and it’s good news for once!
According to a report from Sport Witness, who summed up the story from today’s social media, the 24-year-old walked out of Valencia’s training session after an €18million offer from Arsenal was rejected.
It’s hard to get to the truth behind this, but despite suggesting he was suffering a slight injury, the more reliable tweets argue there was nothing wrong with him.
If true, talks between him and Arsenal couldn’t have been timed any better, with Valencia currently in the country to take part in two pre-season friendlies in the capital.
That would provide ample time for Wenger to not only watch his defensive target, but also meet up with him to convince the player a move to the Emirates would make sense.
The general impression in the press is that Mustafi has his heart set on a move to the Gunners, and will hand in a transfer request if the issue isn’t resolved soon.
Something is going on with Mustafi. Withdrawn from Valencia training right after arrival in England. Earlier reports on a transfer request.
— Michael [Valencia] (@VCF_Nordic) August 2, 2016
His desire to play in England is understandable following an underwhelming spell at Everton in 2009, and Champions League football will be another draw to the unfinished business he left behind.
After Per Mertesacker picked up a nasty knee ligament injury in early July, it seems Mustafi is all we’ve been talking about when it comes to a defensive replacement.
But that’s down to his credentials fitting the bill for Wenger, who has stated he expects to sign an experienced replacement before the Premier League begins on August 14th.
Personally, after taking time to have a look at Mustafi he’s a player that is rather exciting, he’s got desire to make a tackle when it’s needed along with an agility that matches Koscielny’s.
Whether or not he’s got the presence we need in this team is another thing though, he’s only 24 and at that age in a defensive position you’re always learning, especially in the Premier League.
With good quality youngsters available for rotation, you’d expect Wenger to go with someone who is established in English football and has some experience on their shoulders to match.
I’m not saying I’d be disappointed with Mustafi switching to the Emirates, quite the opposite actually! Yet, following the departure of three veterans we’re running out of leaders on the pitch.