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Rating Shkodran Mustafi's Arsenal career so far

Tuesday 6th December 2016
On August the 30th, Arsène Wenger made a clear statement of intent to go for the title by finally signing a much-needed CB to accompany Laurent Koscielny. Shkodran Mustafi's £35m signing took Arsenal's summer business to over £90m and placed the Gunners in the running for the title.
Initially, Mustafi's transfer was greeted with scepticism. Gary Neville who had coached him the season before stated the German 'lacked a little bit of composure.' Arsenal fans became worried, some even predicted that he wouldn't be able to adapt to the physicality of the league. However, fourteen games down the line and I think it's fair to say that the 24-year old has been nothing short of a revelation.

The Kos-Mus Partnership



The German international has formed a formidable partnership with Laurent Koscielny, who has taken him under his wing. For what the German lacks for in composure, he is compensated by the assuredness of Koscielny. Laurent facilitates his aggressiveness and rash attitude towards tackling.
When asked about what makes his relationship with Koscielny so good, Mustafi responded with "I have to deal with a situation he knows to react to cover me, I'm the same." The two are repeatedly on the same wavelength in terms of positioning and approach to building up play.

Winners Mentality



One of the greatest things the German has done for the club is to bring leadership qualities to our defensive shape. Koscielny leads by example, Mustafi leads through his desire.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, after the West Ham game, said to the media that Mustafi was one of the players shouting words of encouragement to the forwards when it was still 1-0 on Saturday. His words ensured the Gunners kept their shape and focus. Every title-winning team needs players who retain composure in the midst of chaos. Against West Ham the German made 7 clearances, winning 6 aerial duels.

The £35m man has now played sixteen times for the Gunners and hasn't lost a single game. Only himself, Koscielny, Özil  & Giroud are unbeaten in every single game they've played this season. When Wenger stated at the start of the season that he finally 'had a squad of men,' he was talking about the likes of Mustafi, Koscielny, Coquelin, Sanchez all being in the same XI. They are the players that lift their teammate's spirits when the team are against the wall.
In my opinion, Shkodran Mustafi is a leaner, quicker version of Mertesacker, with better passing ability. Not only does he suit Wenger's passing style, he improves it. The centre-back has seamlessly adapted to the pace and physicality of the league by being aggressive. He has a desire to be one step ahead of the game, not chasing it.

Many questioned the motives of Wenger when he opted not to sign a defensive midfielder or clinical striker in the summer. Instead, many said he glossed over the club's needs with big money signings in other positions. But as we approach the halfway point in the season, no one can argue that the squad isn't stronger than last years.
Mathaeus Abuwa

Arsenal fan with ample amounts of passion for both Cristiano Ronaldo & Real Madrid. I'm one of those bandwagonist hipster fans that will claim to know everything about football, but only watches the El Clasico outside of the Premier League. Forgive me, I'm trying. Oh yeah, #WengerOut. 


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