Why Arsenal must think twice before offloading Shkodran Mustafi
Arsenal have set the tone for their new campaign with a 1-0 win over Newcastle United but there is a certain situation that needs to be sorted out immediately.
As per a report by Sky Sports, Unai Emery has informed Shkodran Mustafi that he can leave the club after enduring a few troubled months on the red side of north London.
Over the course of last season, Mustafi was dragged to filth time and again for his costly errors. As a result, the Gunners ended up conceding around 50 goals.
There were plenty of issues that needed to be rectified at Arsenal and Emery did exactly that over the summer. He made some smart additions and although Laurent Koscielny departed the club, Arsenal ended up signing David Luiz from Chelsea.
Despite that, it is imperative for Emery and co to retain Mustafi – at least until the January window. While Luiz is a solid player, one cannot overlook the fact that he is in the twilight of his career.
A massive overhaul is needed for Arsenal’s defence and stop-gap solutions will not work if they are to restore their former glory. But until they get to that point, losing Mustafi would cause a severe dent to their already-weak backline.
Now, the German defender has his set of faults and it would be foolish to even suggest otherwise.
However, his physical abilities are undeniable. On his day, Mustafi is more than capable of doing his basic duties and bulldozing past opponents.
That is nowhere near what Arsenal need to progress further but they simply need to make do with what they have until they sign a new central defender.
One might argue that the Gunners also signed William Saliba but it will be a while before the 18-year-old can be tasked with leading the backline. Mustafi is not only experienced enough but he also has the potential to at least act as a backup for Arsenal at a time when they are immensely short on defensive depth.
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Thus, the Gunners must not make a hasty decision and regret it later. Losing Koscielny was a massive blow and they should try not to compound it further by offloading Mustafi as well – at least until they bring in reinforcements.