One of the big problems for Arsenal and the other Premier League clubs this summer in the transfer market was the fact that the rest of the world seems to see us as huge cash machines. We do have a lot of money thanks to the increasingly huge TV deals but it means that the price of players seems ever more crazy.
Even the most average players seem to be costing fortunes, so it is hard to get a grasp on who is good value or expensive but top quality. I think that our new centre back Shkodran Mustafi is one of those, especially for those who do not know much about the Germany international.
Obviously we are all hoping that the transfer fee of over £30 million that we paid to La Liga’s Valencia for Mustafi does not turn out to be a big waste of money and a detailed report by Sky Sports on what he will bring to the club is very encouraging on that front.
As well as pointing out that he is the sort of defender that plays on the front foot with aggression like our own Laurent Koscielny, it says that he has a very good tactical understanding and reading of the game. By moving from Germany to Everton at a young age he grew up fast and his spells in Italy’s Serie A and Spain have given him great experience of different types of the game and he has all this experience and talent at the relatively young age of 24.
All in all it sounds like he may be the perfect partner for Koscielny at the heart of the Arsenal defence, so should Per Mertesacker and Gabriel be worried about their own chances of first team football?