Shkodran Mustafi’s Arsenal Future
With Chambers being given a show of faith from his manager, does that then move Shkodran Mustafi closer to an earlier than expected Arsenal departure?
The German has been exempt entirely from the past five matchday squads, including the FA Cup third round victory over Newcastle and defeat to Southampton, which goes against the notion of him being kept at the club until his contract expires to act as an optional backup. For context, Chambers made the bench in the draw against Crystal Palace and the defeat to the Saints ahead of the 28-year-old.
Talk of Mustafi interesting Serie A clubs has been prevalent for months on end, none of which ever shift way from mere paper talk. Even in this window, there has been no concrete suggestions that he could be on the way out. According to James Benge, there has been ‘no indication’ that Mustafi is leaving in January.
Conversely, there was no indication that Mat Ryan was signing or that Arsenal had made any approach to Real Madrid for Odegaard, so nothing can be ruled out. However, earlier this window Arteta commented on the German’s future, suggesting there would be no departure.
"“His future right now is here,” he told Sky Sports."
Circumstances do change quickly in the transfer market and with Gabriel back from illness, David Luiz back from injury and Pablo Mari potentially back for the Premier League clash at Southampton, Arteta may ponder a rethink.
In whatever way a deal could come about, Mustafi is of no use to Arsenal whatsoever from an ability standpoint, while his £90k-per-week wages are among the highest at the club. Right now he is occupying a slot in the squad that could be freed up, and he doesn’t even offer the versatility that Chambers does.
Ideally he’ll be gone, but Arsenal fans may have to bite the bullet on this one.