Mustafi freed from Arsenal to join Schalke

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner
  • Updated: 19 May 2021 15:43 BST
  • 2 min read
Mustafi freed from Arsenal to join Schalke

Shkodran Mustafi has left Arsenal to sign for Schalke, paving the way for Ozan Kabak to depart the Bundesliga club for Liverpool.

Mustafi signed for the Gunners in 2016 from Valencia for £35 million. However, the Germany international World Cup winner would never live up to that billing at the Emirates Stadium.

Five years on, he departs Arsenal for nothing after negotiating the end of his contract.

Arsenal technical director Edu said: “We thank Mustafi for his contribution at Arsenal which has spanned four-and-a-half years, more than 150 appearances and a prominent role in two FA Cup wins. Everyone associated with the club wishes Musti and his family the very best wishes for the next chapter in his career.”

While he was extensively used in the club’s Europa League group stage campaign, even captaining the side in a 4-2 win over Dundalk, he played only 43 minutes of Premier League football this term as manager Mikel Arteta made clear he was surplus to requirements.

Nevertheless, the Arsenal boss added: “Mustafi has been a key player for us for a long period of time. He played a very important part in my first season as manager and I’d like to thank him for his professionalism and for always being ready when called upon. Everybody at Arsenal wishes Musti well at Schalke.” 

Indeed, Mustafi has left the Premier League to join a Schalke outfit that is surely heading for relegation from the Bundesliga.

The Gelsenkirchen outfit have picked up only eight points from 19 matches this season. Indeed, they have the leakiest defence in the league, having conceded on 49 occasions.

Mustafi is by no means the first experienced professional that Arsenal have released in January in a bid to trim their bloated wage bill. Mesut Ozil has notably joined Fenerbahce, while fellow centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos joined Olympiacos.

Mustafi departs Arsenal having played 151 times for the club and having scored nine goals.