Will This German International Solve Arsenal’s Defensive Problems?

Arsenal are clearly in need of more defensive players in their current squad, with Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista out injured indefinitely and Frenchman Laurent Koscielny still not fit make a return to the starting eleven yet. Arsene Wenger has options like Calum Chambers and Rob Holding to play at centre-back, though the duo are still quite inexperienced and need to learn a lot more before they can become the first choice pairing.

Keeping that in mind, the French manager has gone ahead and tried to push through a £30m deal for Valencia’s Shkodran Mustafi, with the move to the Emirates expected to be completed in the upcoming days.

Now the question arises as to how good is the 24-year-old superstar actually and will be worth the hype surrounding his move to England.

For a start, any star to be called up the German national team at the age of 21 will have some good qualities and talent surely. However, we can’t ignore the fact that Mustafi spent three years at Everton between 2009 and 2012, as a youngster and did not make a single appearance for the Toffees.

Eventually, he moved away from Goodison Park and joined Serie An outfit Sampdoria, where he made more than 50 appearances. Later he was signed by La Liga side Valencia in 2014, where he has 61 league appearances so far, with a tally of 6 goals to his name as well.

Considering the fact that the Gunners have a good right-back Hector Bellerin and a decent left-back in Nacho Monreal, a player like Mustafi could be a “super buy”. The reason I say that is, once Koscielny is fit and ready to go, the France international can form a formidable pair with this new signing.

There is no doubt that Kos was one of our best players last term and if he can be consistent once again this season, the backline will look much more solid than what it was in the previous campaign.

The German centre-back is strong dealing with aerial threats and is quite confident and clean, with respect to his tackling. He is also really focused and good at reading the game, which helps him win the ball from his opponents in some key areas of the pitch.

Despite that, he can at times be a “no nonsense defender” and clears the ball quite well. He can also commit fouls if it is the need of the day and stop the opposition attacks from gaining momentum at the right time.

Also, his contribution in the attack with the goal scoring capability that he has developed even more recently can prove to be a vital asset to the north London outfit.

All the Arsenal fans, who know what the team needs at the moment should be hoping that this deal goes through, as we still need “improvement” at the back and this could be our first big step towards a title.

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Written by Nitish Bhan

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