Why Offloading This £35m Rated Ball-playing Defender Would Reflect Arsenal’s Flawed Thinking

Shkodran Mustafi

Keep or Sell? – What Should Arsenal Do With Shkodran Mustafi This Summer?

As the transfer deadline looms large ahead of the final judgment day – August 31, Arsene Wenger has supposedly taken the quieter route in managing the club’s transfer window.

One such case is that of Arsenal’s 25-year-old centre-back, Shkodran Mustafi. The defender has been linked with a move that could see him on his way out of the Emirates this summer due to recent interest shown by Juventus and Inter Milan and a reported lack of bonding with some of his team-mates. (Source: Daily Mail)

Anyhow, the Germany International is not anticipated to leave the Gunners just as yet by virtue of Wenger’s claims, suggesting that he does not anticipate any offers for the central defender. But at the same time, he also said,

“It is difficult for me to speak about any individual cases. Because we are now in the final seven days of the transfer market and it is always very difficult to predict what will happen there.”

Mustafi joined Arsenal from Valencia only last summer for a price tag of £35million (BBC) and has gone onto have only 26 appearances for the Gunners, owing to his injury, and hasn’t been able to come into his own to concretely fix his position at the Emirates.

As far as ringing bells over Mustafi’s future are concerned, there is only as much clarity in the transfer market that the 25-year-old is a target for Inter or Juventus to bargain. History is a testament to the fact that Wenger has always relented in his approach of not selling his key players (Mustafi; being the club’s third most expensive player ever) and has given in to the offer that floats his boat more often than not.

Meanwhile, Arsenal have already sold Brazilian defender Gabriel to Valencia last week and that limits Wenger’s defensive options to only Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker, Rob Holding as natural centre-backs. Moreover, if Mustafi is shown the door, then Nacho Monreal, Calum Chambers, and Sead Kolasinac could slip into the central roles.

It is only going to make the tactical shift harder for Wenger as his full-backs in the form of Hector Bellerin, Kieran Gibbs and Mathieu Debuchy would be heavily relied upon throughout the upcoming fixtures.

Should Arsenal Sell Shkodran Mustafi Right Now?

The answer is a plain and simple, NO!

Mustafi did struggle a bit in the absence of Koscielny but was certainly instrumental in building up the character of the Gunners’ defence. As a very natural fit to the Arsenal jigsaw, it is only a matter of time before the German star starts making headway in the well-balanced combinations for this season.

Offloading him right away would reflect the flawed thinking of the management at the Emirates and the forced mentality of an illustrious manager of the likes of Arsene Wenger who could not foresee the gains/losses of a £35million summer signing that had no contributions to the club going into a brand new season of the Premier League, when it is the most important time for any player to hit peak form.

The final seven days of August is all that remains to decide Shkodran Mustafi’s ultimate future in England and Arsene Wenger’s easy-going attitude of “keeping the door open” for big players like him will probably play a huge role in that.

Written by Tanvir Juneja

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