Mustafi set to stay at Arsenal with Arteta insisting the German is part of his plans

Martin Macdonald
Martin Macdonald Updated: 17 May 2021 21:27 CEST 4 min read
Mustafi set to stay at Arsenal with Arteta insisting the German is part of his plans

Shkodran Mustafi’s immediate future is with Arsenal, according to manager Mikel Arteta, who played down suggestions his defender could leave the club this month.

The German has struggled for form and minutes over the past year, with injuries and poor performances playing a part in him becoming a fringe player for the London side.

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  • With Arteta preferring to use Gabriel, Rob Holding, Pablo Mari, and David Luiz at centre-back, Mustafi was believed to be surplus to requirements at the Emirates, fuelling speculation of a potential transfer away.

    However, Arteta insists Mustafi will stay, with the club lighter in the central defender position now that William Saliba has left on loan, with Sokratis Papastathopoulos set to follow him through the exit door.

    “His future right now is here,” Arteta said.

    “Trying to help. We have Papa that probably is going to leave the club this window, we have William that has already gone on loan. So we don’t have that many right now.

    “Gabriel [Magalhaes] has been out for a period, David [Luiz] has been injured, so the situation is completely different to before.”

    Arteta has also provided reasoning as to why Mustafi hasn’t played a lot, saying the player was unlucky that when he came back from injury there were simply a lot of central defenders to choose from.

    “Well Musti came back from a really difficult injury when he got injured at the end of last season,” the Spaniard explained.

    Mustafi set to stay at Arsenal with Arteta insisting the German is part of his plans

    Mustafi set to stay at Arsenal with Arteta insisting the German is part of his plans

    “After that period he was doing really well. I think his performances were increasing and getting better and better. And when he came back that’s when we had seven or eight central defenders. So he had to get his performance level up.

    “I think physically he still needed some time. Then he started to play some games in Europe which I think he did well as well. 

    “And now it’s about, yeah, when do you make the next step to be the starter? And the reality is that we have to change that for different reasons, use different personnel. 

    “He’s been very close in a few games. But now we’ve found as well a partnership (Rob Holding and Pablo Mari) that is giving us clean sheets, and sometimes when you do that it’s difficult to change. But he’s still in contention.”

    Mustafi has made six starts for Arsenal in the 2020/21 season, though five of them have came in the Europa League.

    His contract does run out after the current season, with his father previously suggesting plans were already in place for a move.