Arsenal are in discussions to terminate Shkodran Mustafi’s contract six months early amid interest from clubs across Europe.
The German has not played since the Boxing Day victory over Chelsea and wasn’t included in either matchday squads to face Newcastle and Southampton in the FA Cup, paving the way for a premature exit from north London.
Well, we say premature on the grounds of his contract, but there would be nothing premature about Shkodran Mustafi leaving Arsenal. On the contrary, it’s been long overdue.
Not up to the standard required nor displaying the right attitude in matches, the £35m panic buy has been a total disaster. As per football.london, he could follow Sokratis and Mesut Ozil in leaving this window.
Arsenal in talks to terminate Shkodran Mustafi’s contract
Mustafi has had spells of good form. Various members of this squad have had good spells of form, dotted around other periods of utter futility. Even at the end of last season where the central defender improved under Mikel Arteta, said improvements only appeared positive in the context of how dreadful Arsenal’s defending had been and how resoundingly awful Mustafi has been throughout his time with the club.
Interest from clubs across Italy and Germany have prompted these discussions, which come off the back of a failed attempt to tie Mustafi down on a new contract during the previous summer. The reasons for that came down to protecting his value, as the club felt his age and experience could yield a future sale.
It’s understandable that they would try and recoup some of the money, since he did cost £35m. However, this is a new regime having to deal with past ineptitude, so at this stage having his contract terminated is making the best out of an embarrassing situation.
Between now and the end of the season he won’t play unless there are multiple injuries to those in front of him in the pecking order, as five centre-backs will be enough to see out the season. Arteta’s recent backing of Calum Chambers also indicated strongly towards an exit. Lazio could swoop in and take Mustafi, which will inevitably draw a few ‘I’ll drive him there myself’ responses.
Cancelling contracts is not ideal, yet if it trims the squad and facilitates enhanced squad unity and builds towards the new culture, then so be it.
Mustafi wouldn’t be missed.