Even though there is a good chance that the Arsenal starting line-up for the first Europa League group game tonight, against the German side FC Cologne, will see the return of our young centre back Rob Holding, it could well also include Shkodran Mustafi with Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal likely to be rested ahead of the Premier League trip to face Chelsea early on Sunday.
Arsenal fans will be hoping to see Mustafi perform as he did against Bournemouth last weekend, which saw the German play in the committed and aggressive style of defending that caused Arsene Wenger to make him the most expensive defender in the club’s history in last summer’s transfer window.
Mustafi had an up and down debut season as a Gunner but he showed signs of being a good addition so it was a surprise to most of us when this the football media this summer was full of Arsenal transfer rumours linking him with a move away from north London after just one year.
Metro were reporting in the final days of the window that he was set to sign for Inter Milan and Wenger had suggested that he might go although not that he was up for sale as such. There were reports that the deal fell through because the Italian’s wanted him on loan or that Arsenal’s hunt for a replacement did not bear fruit, but it was all a bit odd to say the least.
Did Wenger really not rate the World Cup winning German? Or was it Mustafi that was not happy at Arsenal as some reports suggested? The boss has now stated that his defender did not ask to leave, reports the Evening Standard.
He said, “He wanted to stay.
“Look at him today.”
Ivan Gazidis also told a fans meeting that the club never intended to cash in so why all the rumours? Simply by talking about it the Arsenal chiefs have revealed that the transfer might have happened, so has anyone got any idea what was going on with Arsenal and Mustafi this summer? And have we avoided a huge mistake by not selling him?