Thursday, 14 January 2021

Mustafi is still in contention - Mikel Arteta

Mustafi is still in contention - Mikel Arteta

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has confirmed centre-back Mustafi is still in contention for a place at the club and still as a place in the squad.

Shkodran Mustafi has been linked with a move out of the Emirate this transfer window as he hasn't gotten much game time in the Premier League under Mikel Arteta. Although the German international has had a good time in the Europa League this season as he has played three games.

With his 28-year-old set to be a free agent this summer, Arteta has confirmed he won't be leaving during the January transfer window as he is needed at the club and because they don't have many options.

“His future right now is here,” Arteta said

“Trying to help. We have Papa that probably is going to leave the club this window, we have William that has already gone on loan. So we don’t have that many right now.

“Gabriel [Magalhaes] has been out for a period, David [Luiz] has been injured, so the situation is completely different to before.”

Arteta went ahead to explain why Mustafi hasn't gotten so much playing time this season.

Read also: A lot has happened to Emile Smith Rowe in the past year - Mikel Arteta

“Well Musti came back from a really difficult injury when he got injured at the end of last season,' He added

“After that period he was doing really well. I think his performances were increasing and getting better and better.

“And when he came back that’s when we had seven or eight central defenders. So he had to get his performance level up.

“I think physically he still needed some time. Then he started to play some games in Europe which I think he did well as well.

“And now it’s about, yeah, when do you make the next step to be the starter? And the reality is that we have to change that for different reasons, use different personnel.

“He’s been very close in a few games. But now we’ve found as well a partnership (Rob Holding and Pablo Mari) that is giving us clean sheets, and sometimes when you do that it’s difficult to change. But he’s still in contention.”

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