The manager of Arsenal football club, Mikel Arteta has insisted that the club’s defender Shkodran Mustafi would not be sold during the January transfer window even though the player has not been enjoying regular game time.
Besides is lack of game at the club, the German defender has less than 6 months left on his contract with Arsenal and the club has not started discussing a contract extension with the defender. If the situation remains that way, he would leave the club at the end of June 2021 as a free agent.
The 28-year-old Germany international who has been at Arsenal since August 30, 2016, has found it difficult to re-establish himself since he returned from the hamstring injury he sustained towards the end of the 2019-2020 season.
Since the commencement of this season, the center-back has made 3 Premier League appearances and 9 appearances in all competitions which most pundits see as a sign that Arsenal are planning to let him go this winter.
Contrary to such speculation, the manager of the club, Mikel Arteta, has made it clear that the defender is still in his plans and would not leave the club this winter. But he agreed that it might be difficult for Mustafi to break into Arsenal’s in-form squad.
Amid the uncertainty he has been suffering at Arsenal, Shkodran Mustafi has always revealed how much he wants to keep playing for Arsenal. However, his chance of doing that has continued to grow slimmer especially now that Arteta trust more in the partnership between Rob Holding and Pablo Mari in the heart of Arsenal’s defense.
Notwithstanding, the hope Mustafi has at the club is the fact that Arsenal have offloaded and planning to offload a couple of defenders such as William Saliba who has been sent on loan, and Sokratis Papastathopoulos who could also leave this winter.
Besides those who have left and those that might leave the club this season, Arsenal still have a couple of defenders out with different degrees of injuries. Hence, Mikel Arteta would want to have Shkodran Mustafi around for now.
“Musti came back from a really difficult injury when he got injured at the end of last season,” Arteta explained.
“Up to that period I think he was doing well, I think his performances were increasing and getting better and better.
“When he came back it was a moment when we had seven or eight center-backs 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 when do you take the next step to be a starter, and the reality is that we have to change for different reasons, use different personnel.
“He’s been very close in a few games but now we’ve found as well a partnership that is giving us clean sheets and sometimes when you do that it’s difficult to change, but he’s still in contention.”