It seems Mustafi’s move to Arsenal is inching closer by the minute as Sky Germany have now confirmed that the defender will complete his move to the Gunners by next week.
The North London club are facing a defensive crisis at the back after Mertesacker and Gabriel are expected to spend plenty of time on the treatment table.
The Telegraph(quoting reports from Sky Germany) reveal that the deal to sign Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi will be completed by next week.
The German international is reportedly awaiting permission from the Spanish club to have a medical with the Emirates club after agreeing on a five-year deal. The transfer fee will be around the £28m mark including bonuses.
The deal looks evident and the report comes only a few hours after Italian journalist Emanuele Giulianelli also reporting that the transfer will be announced by next week.
Mustafi’s agent also confirmed a deal is getting closer, with Arsenal only needing to agree on a fee with Valencia(around £28m) to complete the move.
German centre-back Per Mertesacker is reportedly facing up to five months out with a knee injury. Laurent Koscielny is also set to miss the start of the season following his Euro 2016 exploits with France while Gabriel Paulista is also out for at least 3 months.
Calum Chambers and new signing Rob Holding are now the only available central defenders in the Arsenal squad, and Wenger will have no choice but to dip into the market to bring someone else on board.
Mustafi started his football career with German club Hamburger SV as a youth prodigy and then went on to spend three years at Everton with the Under-21 and senior teams (where he made just one appearance), before a successful spell at Italian club Sampdoria which earned him a move to Valencia.
The 12 times capped Germany international, who scored at Euro 2016, is under contract at the Mestalla until 2019.
Mustafi had himself a great year at Valencia. At just 24 years of age, he proved to be one of the best defenders in the world, averaging 4.4 interceptions and 2.7 tackles per appearance last season. Not only that, Mustafi is also an aerial menace, similar to what Per Mertesacker once was.
He has consistently won almost three aerial duels a game and as we saw at the Euros, this aerial ability has translated into shots from set-pieces, Shots leading to goals. This could give Arsenal another option on the offensive ; one that can help them deliver goals from places where they rarely ever find them – set-pieces.
Mustafi has also emerged on the transfer radar of Chelsea recently, and so Arsenal must sneak in and make things interesting. We do not know how long Mertesacker is out for, but even with him back in shape, Arsenal are certainly in need of a new defender.
Mertesacker’s and Gabriel’s injury should merely push the issue. Rob Holding is a fantastic future option but Mustafi is clearly a more experienced and proven player, a present day contender for that second central defensive role. Let us hope that we get the reported £28m Mustafi deal done sooner than later so that our bid to attain Premier League glory this season ends in a fruitful manner.