Arsenal Debate – Should Arsenal still sell Mustafi this summer?

We Should Know that Mustafi Can Still Mustafi

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article about Mustafi’s abilities as a player that seemed too harshly-worded and too critical of the player. Maybe it was (a lot of people certainly thought it was) but it was the culmination of three seasons worth of pent-up frustration at the on-field antics of the German. Mustafi was initially about to be an hero, being part of a 22-game unbeaten run under Arsene Wenger. Then it turned south and sour as quickly as a plate of beans.

Mustafi didn’t just made ordinary errors of the type that could be expected once in a while even from the most experienced defender, it was the call-your-mom-the-house-is-burning category errors. The more the errors, the less confident he got and the more the fans turned on him.

I had always pitied Mustafi. Sometimes the fans put all the responsibility for a team issue on him. He also didn’t help himself. But I was always of the opinion that everyone deserved a second chance to make things right.

The terrible back pass at Chelsea eventually broke me. Another Mustafian mistake. How could one player be so good at giving the opposition goalscoring opportunities? Even though he defended very well for the rest of the game and was responsible for nodding out that ball to Martinelli, I couldn’t quite forget what he had done or the fact that we had to play with ten men. Not when we were so down the table this season. Not when Arteta was trying to make something out of a stinking situation.

But as Xhaka and Ozil, two other scapegoats, improved dramatically under Arteta, I was also under the suspicion that Mustafi could do the same thing. In that article, I mentioned, “Arsenal might have an antidote these days, a secret potion to keep the night beast from appearing at a full moon. It is in the steely depths of Arteta’s eyes, a young talented coach that with the influence of a genius behind him. Mikel Arteta thinks that he can do the near-impossible: that he can kill all the malignant error-404 cells hiding beneath Mustafi’s sweat glands, an operation of such importance that it might require government assistance and huge media coverage.”

As I saw it, Mustafi’s confidence could be rebuilt if he had a string of games against weak opponents where the team dominated the ball. He would be less exposed and have less opportunities to commit a fatal mistake. I thought he was still a very good defender on his day, aggressive and capable of dealing with anything the opposition might throw.

“As long as Mustafi is at Arsenal, then it is appropriate that Arteta should attempt to coax the good out of him, to maximize his better side. That is the right thing to do. Maybe the Europa League games and the FA cup tie against Bournemouth are a clue as to the immediate use of the 27-year-old: maybe they show that Mustafi is less error-prone when his team is dominant with the ball and largely comfortable.”

I still believe in Mustafi. But at the end, he has to leave when the season is done and gone. Sometimes, some relationships are just not meant to be. He’s in his prime and there’s no better transfer moment than when he’s come good again, increasing his market value and protecting our investment in him. Because when all is said and done, Mustafi can still Mustafi. All it takes is one catastrophic mistake for everyone to realize he hasn’t turned his spots. We have to be firm and gentle. That’s the only way we can improve. Our World-Cup winning German defender is not the future but while he’s still here and playing, we are going to be behind him.

Agboola Israel

17 Comments

  1. carl says:

    it doesn’t make sense to sell Mustafi !! here’s why : one he is playing the best football he has at Arsenal to date, 2 He cannot be blamed soley for the teams lack of form and wins under Emery, seems every player was struggling with Emery in charge. He is coming into the best years of a defender !! Id keep him and i expect Arsenal to do the same !!

  2. GunneRay says:

    In all honesty, I have been one of many who have slated Mustafi for his woeful performances. Let’s not forget, If Mustafi had not made so many errors we probably could have been in the top 4 at this stage of the season? He’s not alone though, defensively we were REALLY bad before MA came back. MA has steadied the ship!

    Personally, I would keep though. he has improved and deserves to prove himself. And, when Saliba comes in next year there will hopefully be more competition for places which is always a good thing!

    On another note though (off-topic), If only Wenger had kept more faith in Gnabry! 🙁

    1. Adebanjo oluwole says:

      Wenger had faith in Gnabry and loaned him to West Brom but he didn’t perform, the following season after the loan, he was kept on the bench alongside Oxlade Chamberlain, he complained on lack of playing time with other better player in the team then, ARSENE WENGER the great had too sell him for he want him to get more playing time because under21 World Cup was coming up then
      I respect Wenger for doing so
      Wenger later revealed that it was Bayern that is behind Gnabry’s unwillingness to wait for his time at Arsenal

      1. GunneRay says:

        The very fact Bayern were so keen and willing to take him on should have had alarm bells ringing!! They obviously could see the potential in him. Maybe he should have got more starts under AW?

      2. Gizzle says:

        Actually Tony Pulis tried to destroy him as a footballer . I will still blame Wenger for loaning a player with such skill to a man who is not known as an attacking coach.

  3. Roshan says:

    We aren’t gonna get market value for him, if he keeps this up he can play a role

  4. GB says:

    The decision will be made at the end of the season, not now. If he carries on the way he has played in recent games under MA, then no, he won’t be sold. If he regresses to where he was before MA, then maybe he will be sold. Far too early to say.

  5. Grandad says:

    Neither Mustafi, nor Socratis and Luis are of the calibre required for us to become successful again.They all lack pace which is now virtually an essential what with full backs bombing forward at every opportunity.In the case of Mustafi and Socratis their positional sense leaves much to be desired and last but not least they lack composure.Neither Holding nor Chambers are the finished article but hopefully Saliba will be a cut above the rest.With Mari on board we have quantity but not the quality we badly need.Mustafi has done well recently but longer term I do not see him as a solution to our defensive problems which encompass a lack of a quality DM. To sum up I would sell Mustafi and Socratic if at all possible.

  6. Goonerboy says:

    We keep mentioning an 18 year old Saliba as if he is gonna come in and be our saviour.
    Can anyone say, with full assurance that he is gonna come and in hit the ground running??

    Look, Mustafi has had his faults but on current form he is one of our best defenders and should be cut some slack.
    Let’s watch him till the end of the season for better assessment, it’s a win-win situation for us if he continues to play well, he helps us to win more games and raise his market value if we decide to sell him.
    Personally, I would offload Sokratis first before i think of Mustafi, he is not bad player to have in the squad.

    1. hydrogen_afc says:

      Exactly!!

      Y’all keep mentioning saliba like he has proven himself. I don’t rate most footballers from the french league, the likes of memphis depay, falcao etc all suffered in the EPL, but later go on to become good players in Ligue 1, they’re not called farmers league for nothing, average players excell there

      1. hydrogen_afc says:

        Saliba should be loaned out to another EPL club for to adapt when he comes in the summer!!

  7. Top Gunner says:

    Mustafi, Xhaka, and Ozil should be sold by all means

    1. ACE says:

      Even if AFC are serious about signing
      one of Dunk, Upamecano, Tah, Diop,
      Ake, Torres, Godfrey etc for BIG MONEY
      in the summer I think it would be
      foolish and quite frankly shortsighted
      to move on the much maligned
      German before the window closes. I
      agree with the majority of the board
      that Mustafi still has brainfarts and head
      scratching moments in his Arsenal
      locker and even in this recent run of
      good form the former Valencia man
      may not be the “class” needed to star
      in MA’s Arsenal revival. What can’t be
      argued imho is that Mustafi has been
      nothing but a consummate pro during
      his darkest days in North London and
      if he continues to excel under MA
      should play a significant part in the
      CB mix next season. He and Luiz have
      been Arsenals best pairing, and
      quite frankly I rate him higher than
      any current CB on the Arsenal roster.

      IMHO AFC could do alot worse than
      having the German as a quality back
      up in the EPL and first team regular for
      both Domestic Cups and EL if Artetas
      men fail to secure Champions League
      futbol.

  8. Grandad says:

    Until you have seen Saliba in action how can you suggest he should be loaned out?According to a number of past and current French internationals, Saliba is the “real deal”. We should not assume that the E PL is vastly superior to the first divisions in Germany, Italy or even France.Apart from Liverpool and Man city the rest, including Arsenal are nothing special at all, as evidenced by the Chelsea defeat yesterday.

  9. Will says:

    Yes, sell him. Next question….

  10. jon fox says:

    I applaud the common sense conclusion to this article though I had been fearing, whilst reading the part prior to that conclusion, that the writer had changed his mind . Mercifully and sensibly, he had not. He pitched the article about right and we now have a better opportunity to maximise his sale value and thus get a better than expected fee for a man who is still just not good enough, not perceptive enough,not reliable enough and just not good , nor even tall enough at the required level. He has plenty of courage but that its about all I can commendin him. In my view he must – and I think will – be sold this summer, along with Sokratis, I pray!

  11. Reggie says:

    Mustaffi should be sold this year, we have been trying to get him out nearly since he came, so the underlying reason is he cant be trusted. If we do keep him it would be as back up, thats all. I would keep him for cover but if we have to rely on him, he will let us down. And that hair do tells you all you want to know about him, he should have been disciplined for it, it is rediculous.

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