Arsenal new boy Shkodran Mustafi has admitted that he began his career at the other end of the pitch, as a striker, eventually moving all the way back into the heart of defense.
Here is what he said:
“First of all, I’m happy now because otherwise I don’t know if I would be here,"
When I was only 14, I signed for Hamburg and slowly went all the way back to the defence.
“I played in front of the defence for a few games and then in the end I ended up being a central defender and then I got a call up for the national team, for the under-15s at this time, and then it became my position."
Mustafi, who has become a regular with the German national team is a high scoring defender, featured 61 times for his former club Valencia in all competitions. He made his Champions’ League debut for Arsenal on Tuesday night against French giants PSG, in a game that ended in a 1-1 draw. A 35 million pound signing from Valencia, Mustafi is the kind of defender the Arsenal faithful have been waiting for after a series of defensive errors cost the Gunners some crucial points in last year’s campaign.
And the German had nothing but admiration for teammate Alexis Sanchez, who has been starting up front for the Gunners ahead of Olivier Giroud, having scored against PSG in the 77th minute. Here is what Mustafi had to say about Alexis, as per a report in ESPN:
I think in football today, modern football, it is not as static as it was and that’s what makes the game so quick and so difficult," he said.
If you are a defender, you have to run all over the pitch to chase your striker and it is always difficult.
I think we all know Alexis has qualities and he knows where to stand to give the opponent a difficult game. You have to give him credit for that.
Mustafi will be expected to play consistently throughout September alongside Laurent Koscielny, till the return of Brazilian central defender Gabriel, who will compete with the duo once he has recovered.
Do you think Shkodran Mustafi will score a lot of goals for Arsenal?