Shkodran Mustafi is without a doubt the signing of the year for Arsenal FC. Still only at the young age of 24, Mustafi has the potential to become one of the most elite centre backs in the world.
Most centre backs play into their early to mid 30’s. Examples include Diego Godin, 30, and Giorgio Chiellini, 32, who both are considered to still be world class even at their age.
Mustafi’s numbers do not lie. In the 21 total games he has appeared in, Arsenal have won 15, drawn 6, and lost 0. It showed how much Arsenal missed the German when they came up against Everton and Manchester City. Arsenal had the lead 1-0 in both games, but ended up losing both games 2-1. If the former Valencia man was fit enough to play in these games, the results most likely would have been different. Mustafi and Koscielny together is one of the best centre back partnerships in Europe.
Mustafi’s on the ball stats out of the back are also impressive. He is a key player in Arsenal’s build up play because he is on the ball so much. Against Manchester United on November 19, the German international was one of the most important players for Arsenal.
He managed 82 passes – more than any player from either team. He also had 96 touches – more than any player from either team. The German centre back also added 6 clearances, 3 interceptions, 1 tackle, and 1 block to his stats. Against PSG on September 13, Mustafi completed 54 of 59 passes. This was a very impressive passing display.
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At Valencia, he made 226 interceptions over the last two seasons, according to the Metro. This was more interceptions than any La Liga defender over that span.
With Mustafi in the back line, Arsenal have finally filled in the gap they have so desperately been trying to fill for years. When Arsenal are at full strength with no injuries, they can beat any team in the world.