Fans eagerly await confirmation of the Lucas Perez and Shkodran Mustafi deals, but the latter has openly admitted he’ll be joining the Gunners, revealing the reasons behind his switch in a recent interview. In his talk, the German defender identified two figures who were key to his decision: Arsene Wenger and Mesut Ozil.
The deal for the soon-to-be former Valencia center-back will be wrapped up this week for a fee that could rise to £35m. Mustafi – 24 – is expected to put pen to paper on a five year deal which will help ease the north London outfit’s current defensive injury crisis.
The German recently spoke to Sky Sports in Germany, touching upon the main factors in opting for Arsenal. When asked if he is relieved that the deal went through, he said:
“Yeah I am [relieved]. If a big move like this happens, there is always a lot that has to be planned, discussed and talked.”
Mustafi will join compatriots Per Mertesacker and Ozil, but the incoming defender named the latter World Cup winner as the man who helped convince him to sign for the Gunners. Shkodran also underlined Le Prof, a long-serving ever present figure, as vital.
“For me its like you said, a big club, a giant club with giant history. A club that always plays up there, always in Europe too – and what was also important to me, its that I’ve taken a step forward. For me its also important to have a coach whose been there for many many years and takes care of everything.”
“I spoke with Mesut and he told me everything. How the club is, how its run etc. Everything he said was very positive, and I was quickly convinced since I find the club awesome. Its not quite the typical English club who plays the typical English football but instead the football that I like.”
Having been named in die Mannschaft’s squad for their upcoming friendly matches, Mustafi won’t join up with Arsenal until after the upcoming international break. Nonetheless, his inevitable arrival will go a long way in relieving the pressure on the Gunners’ back line.
The inexperienced Rob Holding has deputized in Mertesacker’s absent, with the English center-back performing very well so far. However, it will be interesting to see how Mustafi adapts and inevitably partners up with Laurent Koscielny. Hopefully we will be talking about ‘Kosc-stafi’ as our new favourite central defensive partnership.