Sunday, September 24, 2023

Wenger refuses to rule out Mustafi departure

Having already sold Gabriel to Valencia, another central defensive departure seems like it would be a bad idea, but at his press conference this morning Arsene Wenger didn’t exactly rule out the potential sale of Shkodran Mustafi.

The German international, signed from Valencia for £35m last August, has been linked with both Inter Milan and Juventus in recent days, and with the Gunners in need of central defenders for the three at the back system you would expect the manager to quash such rumours straight away.

However, Wenger didn’t exactly do that when asked if there was anything to the stories linking the 24 year old with a move to Italy.

“No, I don’t expect …”, he said hesitantly. “It’s difficult for me to speak about any individual cases, you know.

“We’re now in the final seven days of the transfer market and it’s always very difficult to predict what will happen there.

“You have to make quick and sharp decisions and you cannot plan that and come out in a press conference with how you will respond to any solicitation.”

It sounds as if he’s open to the idea of a deal, at least, which has led to further speculation about what might happen in the wake of that.

It would certainly leave us in need of a central defensive arrival, but it might also be a case that Wenger is planning to move away from the three at back system to a more traditional back four, and doesn’t need the numbers.

The last week of this window certainly promises to be interesting.

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I don’t understand what’s going on anymore.


Get rid of all the CBs, who needs them?

Andy G

Monreal, Kolasinac and Gibbs as the three CBs on Sunday. Watch.

Terry McCant

Walcott, Wilshire and Alexis. Dominant I reckon….


With Righty McRightfoit slotted in at left wingback?

I\'m Professor Ignorance, on that subject

Walcott, for his crossing.


To be fair… the way in which our defense is set up its not like we actually have a genuine purpose for them anyway. We might as well just have a couple of jumpers tactically placed across the 18 yard area.

At least that way, by the law of averages an opposing striker has to in theory at some point trip over one, thus thwarting any attacking move.


Wouldn’t that be a penalty?


…. well for me, the jumper took the ball first.


Or ball to jumper, not jumper to ball…


The jumper just wanted it more.

Arshavin\'s Nipple



That’s exactly the feeling I have – utterly baffled by team selection, transfer policy, tactical system, the running down of contracts…none of it seems to follow any logic.

I was quietly satisfied about six weeks ago. Now I’m just terrified.


Don’t worry.
Once you get past terrified you will reach baffled acceptance and then it is all plain sailing towards not giving a toss anymore..

Mesut O\'Neill

I haven’t given a toss for about 3 seasons now.


You can get treatment for that

Ridicule Arse

3 seasons is probably beyond treatment

Dave M

Been there for a while too…it’s a funny place. Not exactly haha funny though…

Crash Fistfight

I find that I have to laugh at it all. Otherwise I’d cry.


Haha too right. Where I’m currently at in emoji form:

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Crash Fistfight

Completely unrelated, but did you know that if you right click on an emoji on here and click ‘open picture in new tab’ you get a GIGANTIC version of said emoji?

Dave M

Thumbs up if you tried this with the poop emoji first…


I agree with you , I really thought Wenger would change his ways this pre season especially after the diabolical happenings last season It’s always the same , around about the time of season ticket renewals he always talks up signing players , puts in bids knowing the club would never accept it , says he’s watching/ likes such and such a player , then when the season tickets have all been purchased he makes up poor excuses like this one and also saying the squad is too big so will have to sell before buying anyone !!!! Did he… Read more »

Tanzanian Gooner

Wait untill Wenger sells Mustafi and loan out Chambers on deadline day then he will tell us that Elneny can play there. It’s like Wenger is trolling us now.

Damo Dinkum

Don’t forget Maitland-Niles, our other erstwhile CB.


This comment just made my day! Neither do we hahaha!!!


Wenger doesn’t do defense…


Or tactics.
Or transfers.
Or contracts.
Or anything…

Crash Fistfight

He does all of those things…badly


* No, I would argue it’s the fact that he actually does ALL of those together that is hindering them individually. No other manager on the planet has this self-inflicted workload, its can’t be healthy and it sure isn’t working.


I agree with you , I really thought Wenger would change his ways this pre season especially after the diabolical happenings last season It’s always the same , around about the time of season ticket renewals he always talks up signing players , puts in bids knowing the club would never accept it , says he’s watching/ likes such and such a player , then when the season tickets have all been purchased he makes up poor excuses like this one and also saying the squad is too big so will have to sell before buying anyone !!!! Did he… Read more »


play 3-4-2-1 with three cbs, end the season on a high. start new season with about half of the players outside of their natural position, concede cheap goals and lose one out of two games – give up the new formation. no, steve, i don’t either

Desi Gooner

You’re right, 1 defender, 2 CDM, 4 CAM and 3 strikers.


The way things are going I wouldn’t be surprised if we signed Flamini on a free transfer!


Dont worry we can play Lacazette there


Announce Senderos! ?


And Eboue! If we’re gonna suck, at least make it entertaining! ;-P


This is madness if it happens. Mustafi was a big part of our excellent run at the beginning of last season, and his injury really couldn’t have come at a worse time. Lets hope if it does happen, he is replaced by a quality, proven CB


at the beginning, true, then it stopped there, sorry but Mustafi is far far from being a good CB, he is a fighter but does a lot of fouls and his was at a bad place in many occasions that lead goals for opposition. I was excited by him when he arrived but then, so far disapointed


You could argue that any centre back who is left exposed as much as ours were and still are would struggle. Regardless of their overall quality.

David C

Mustafi has been so-so for me since he came, but I also remember Kos struggling in his first year because he was diving all around like Mustafi does. Seems too early to give up on Mustafi considering his age.

All very confusing…

A different George

He reminds me very much of Koscielny when he first arrived–similar strengths (aggression, quickness, anticipation, good on the ball) and flaws (rashness, runs out of position) except, as I’ve posted before, Mustafi is more polished than Koscielny was then.

I cannot believe Wenger will let him go–perhaps the answer was just to cut off questioning about the future of each individual player in turn.


Yeah, even allowing for first season wobbles I’m not convinced he can become the player Koscielny is – a guy who’s composed enough to play in the centre, dominate the best strikers in the league, and smart enough not to dive into challenges. And when you compare his passing to someone like Alderweireld it’s obvious he’s over-rated.

Wouldn’t be sorry to see him to go.


I seem to remember Kos “diving into” some poor challenges. He is just coming out of a three match ban, remember.


I would rather have someone than no one and just seven days to buy a quality replacement. Let me re-word that “for WENGER” to buy a quality replacement for Mustafi. Do you have faith in that moron to do something right? I certainly don’t..



Tell us your vast experience of football management and how you did everything right…

Dave M

Ah the “still dilusional that Wenger knows what he is still doing phase”. It was one of the most frustrating phases for me as how could a manager with that much experience not know what he is doing, Yet how does everything keep going so poorly…you ll get to the “holy $hit, maybe he is losing his marbles, but I’ll always respect him phase” pretty soon… Then it’s the “Fark this I’m done with this stubborn fool, get out and save your bloody legacy asap phase” followed by the final “things are so bad it’s almost amusing (aka resignation that… Read more »


Almost funny if it wasn’t sad.

Fans (?) of Arsenal are happy that our greatest ever manager is being called a moron.


Fans of Arsenal, not Arsene. Learn the difference.


You must be a moron if you think an Arsenal fan doesn’t know the difference.


Its not funny and it is very sad but with with him its is fitting square pegs into round holes. If he played players in their natural positions, where they are confident and competent and we lost you could just say it wasn’t our day but his decision making was completely idiotic and incompetent.
What do you want me to do – lavish praise?
Wenger is leading us to oblivion – two games in to the new season and we all know exactly how it will pan out..

Dave M

I totally agree he is our greatest ever manager. He was once a very brilliant coach. Until the middle of last year I was in the “still dilusional that Wenger knows what he is still doing phase”, trying to keep the faith, but then things just don’t change and Kroenke, Gazidis, (and even Wenger) et. al. keep taking us for the exact same ride. This isn’t about winning (yes Arsene wants to, but he is now to stubborn to change his ways to adjust to the modern league). This is about making a $hit tonne of money for very rich… Read more »

Donald\'s Trump

I managed the Grange Hill Girls Under 10s and played a centre back at centre back.

Your turn.


I don’t – but then again I am not being paid £10.5 million a year and have a £1 billion franchise that is heading to oblivion because everything I do makes no tactical or intelligent sense. I may have no experience but at LEAST I would play players in their natural positions which is more than he can manage.

Ed the Red

I agree that he has been disappointing and for Wenger to not quash the matter outright suggests that there might be someone coming in. Doesn’t it?

Kostas Greek Gooner

I am feeling like a beggar:
Arsenal SecondHandedTalnets Flee market…

If things continue like this, I’ll have to start FM or FIFA again..

Dave M

Seriously how can we be even considering to sell a 35M quid centre back after one year. A German international. Classy player. Classy guy. When we just sold a cb and have another young guy who the manager seems to have (sadly) lost all faith in and another cb who is about to retire. And settling him For half of what we paid for at that?! WTF?!. Wenger us now losing marbles he never had.

Lucky we still have 3 LBs lol…


Even if the reason behind it was that Wenger wants to revert to back four, I still find it stupid. I mean you actually can change the system during the season, you don’t have to stick with it for the rest of the season. What if we found out that the back four system isn’t working – again? Also, I’m not keen on the idea of reverting to back four. It would only expose the weaknesses that eventually lead to changing the system at the end of last season. We did nothing to tackle them – meaning we didn’t bring a… Read more »

Dave M

“What if we found out that the back four system isn’t working – again?”

Like last season…lol…it’s so ridiculous all you can do is laugh

Heavenly Chapecoense

In back four, you still need four CB in the team. Who are they if Mustafi leaves ?


Using the back 3 we conceded just as many chances. Petr Cech was just playing better behind them.

The attack did improve, however…

Toure motors

It’s like he’s forgotten about Gibbs, wilshere, jenks etc. Or more likely no-one wants them so he has to sell players he hadn’t hoped to. The club has no sense of coherence or direction.




Maybe he just can’t find a position to play him out of. Have you thought of that? Plus we have enough full backs to play there anyway.


Probably Wenger trying to divert attention from Sanchez bid rumours in the last week…

Mesut Ozzle

Even if we do move to a back 4 too many of our options are ageing and this weakens us, quite obviously. Even if we are moving to a back 4 you’d think we needed to bring someone in if mustafi goes…

Eric Blair

I would guess Kola and Gibbs at LB, Monreal Kos Per Holding at CB, Bellerin and Debuchy (nobody’ll take him) at RB. Return to 4 at the back.


It’s a joke, right?


I wonder how much money we’ll lose this time? Bought for £35m, sell a year later for £20m?


Sell Mustafi and buy noone? That will be bottom half finish in league. Sell all defenders and play Giroud on the back – Wenger’s logic


Not a fan to be honest, think he dives in too much and lacks positional intelligence. Get caught out pushing up too often and hasn’t got the recovery pace. Not to say he is terrible but think we need better for a first choice. Would trade him for van dijk in a heartbeat.

Tasmanian Jesus

Yeah, definately!


Keep him and buy Van Dijk anyway we need quality defensive recruits I don’t care if it’s 50m. And buy a midfielder we still haven’t come close to replacing Santi. Seri looks good & cheap and Barca deal might be off.
We’re struggling for top 4 yet again even with Sanchez and Ox staying given our squad compared to City/United/Chelsea. Fucking typical and depressing we’re always a few players short every season

Eric Blair

No idea if Van Dijk is the right player but we have contacts at Southampton. Perhaps will offer Ox in exchange and he can fulfill his midfield dreams!

Heavenly Chapecoense

Everybody is saying Van Djik without actually knowing him.


What knowing him personally? What you on about?


He’s been playing in the prem so most of us have seen him play. Minimal adaptation time, he’s big, quick, strong, good on the ball and reads the game well. Most of all, it will irritate Liverpool 🙂


Would rather have Mustafi AND Van Dijk. Mustafi’s younger and already has more international caps. So while I agree Van Dijk’s a terrific player, I still really believe in Mustafi’s potential over the next couple of years.

Dave M

Yeah what is not to love about a back three of Kozzer, Mustafi and Van Dijk with Holding, Per and Monreal as back ups and Monreal/Kolasinic at LB and Bellerin/The Ox at RB. Imagine a 6 man defence where the GK isn’t pretty much the only guy playing in his natural position…
“Wouldn’t it be nice…?”


Batshit crazy


I hate how often he uses the
Word ‘difficult’ in his press conferences. It’s as though he has no winner talk left in him 🙁


Mental. He’s not a flawless defender by any stretch, but at 25 he’s pretty young for a CB and surely worthy of at least another season.

We can only presume AW has something up his sleeve if this were to be a go’er.


Can’t see Wenger selling and possibly loaning two of our top three CBs from last season with what is left being the BFG in his final season, Kos who has been very fragile of late, Holding who is lacking confidence and is inexperienced and Chambers who has never proven himself at Arsenal. Of course Kolasinc and Monreal can play there, but for both it’s not their best decision. I guess the experiment from pre-season of Elneny there is dead. I certainly would not loan Mustafi, would only sell him if I could reinvest in another CB, but would have to… Read more »


He hadn’t actually said he wants to sell him so please let’s wait and see before making assumptions.


So why not just say hes not for sale like he has with sanchez etc. Hes knows thiers been speculation. A simple no hes staying kills the story.


It’s transfer season. Every rumor is a zombie…they are never really dead. The press need clicks. In fact, I half suspect Wenger’s talk of no Lemar deal only indicates that there is in fact something happening.


Wenger is our manager and not the press. Ask him about sanchez or ozil or most other players and its an equivacable no ! Why not just do exactly that in this case. The press will still speculate but on sites likes this it woudnt be so much of a story then.
Now people are questioning his sanity because he has fuelled the fire.

A different George

Maybe because the next question would be about another player, and if he answered differently, then there would be endless speculation about that one. (Unless you want him to say “no” about every player.) It’s not comparable to the Alexis situation, where the speculation was based on real facts, and Wenger felt the need to make a statement about the club.


He has no problem saying no to a Sanchez sale, why not Mustafi?

Wenger has lost the plot. This season is going to be a shit show I’m afraid.


Err.. what?


I have tried and tried, and I just can’t see any logical reason why we’d even begin to entertain the idea of selling Mustafi.

I thought we were just lacking a plan and a bit of direction, this transfer window, not I realise no one at the club has a clue what they’re doing and everyone is just making things up as they go.


Why would we sell Mustafi? Our last few transfer windows were tragic, half of the players are to be sold, or underperforming right now.


Theo’s obviously finally found his position in the middle of the back 3. Exciting times


You know what? I’d love to see that. Not in the PL, obviously, but some Cowabunga Cup or something, just for the sake of it. It would be hilarious!

Crash Fistfight

Damn you for making me look like an idiot at my desk, laughing at ‘Cowabunga Cup’.

J Dizzle

He would get steamrolled.


This is turning into the transfer window from hell. Wenger can’t get anyone to sign new contracts he wants to. He can’t get rid of players he wants to b/c he’s screwing around over a few million quid. And we’re still left with the exact same problem areas we’ve had for several years now.


This is nuts. To be honest, I wouldn’t be against the idea as I think Mustafi is a VERY average defender. Of course only if we’ve got a plan to bring someone like VVD in. Don’t think I’ve ever watched a match where he hasn’t made half a dozen mistakes. 35m, Valencia absolutely robbed us.


We’ve a raft of players we can’t pay to get rid of, it would seem. We’ve got players here that we aren’t playing yet won’t sell. We’ve got players who won’t sign being played out of position. A defence featuring no defenders – solution, sell more defenders. A midfield that really hasn’t functioned in a good few years now. Strikers that play well enough but literally cannot score. Our squad is being horrendously mismanaged. Our transfer business has been appalling. We drop out of the top 4 for the first time in nearly a generation and the response to that… Read more »


Anyone else wondering if we’ll use Elneny to plug the gap? I know you can’t read anything into pre-season games but stranger things have happened in recent years…


There are good players that don’t fit in the Premier League. Mustafi has looked like such a player so far. Having said that, selling him now seems odd.

Indian Gooner

What is actually going on?
Here we are pleading them all to buy a new defender and a defensive mid and there they are.. planning to sell all our recognised defenders.(we have never had a proper ball playing defensive mid in a long time. So that’s another story.)
All in would be an extremely strange decision if we are to sell him. Absolute bollocks, I say!


Serenity Now


Serenity now
Insanity later.


I don’t think there is one single Arsenal supporter to wants Wenger at the club – not one.
He is destroying every little chance this club has of achieving anything with his incompetence and p*ss poor decision making.
Someone at Arsenal grow a pair of balls and get him out before he kills everything good at the club…


I guess there are lots of people who are happy with incompetence, bizarre decision making, non-existent tactics, lack of quality signings, arrogance, ignorance and failing to learn from mistakes made every single year. Not to mention the petulant tantrums he throws when teams roll us over on a regular basis each year and the disrespect he shows to other sides (which fuels their desire to beat us even more) Personally I hate the sight and sound of the man but unfortunately the fate of the club which is what I care about is linked to this idiot. I am unhappy… Read more »


Vague and indecisive as usual then


Can someone answer this question.
What exactly does Ivan Gazidis do to earn his salary?
Does he have authority or is he just another spineless yes man-one of the french idiot’s stooges?
I am struggling to see what his purpose is, if he has one…


He effectively runs the non football side of the club as even though he technically is in charge of everything, at Arsenal Wenger is the real CEO of anything related to football. That means that Gazidas oversees marketing, finances etc. You can’t really complain about him in terms of footballing decisions as no one other than Wenger has a say. As long as Wenger is here he will control training, contracts, transfers, team selection – pretty much everything you care about.


Not a chance, I can only see this is wenger trying to get a bid around 40 45 mil and buy Van Dijk, otherwise not a chance.


Mustafi isn’t all that I saw he was very culpable in the disintegration at Bayern last season once Koscielny went off couldn’t hold the backline together and has a very silly habit of going to ground. As long as he is replaced with a other defender even if Chambers is promoted you still need older heads with koscielny’s achiles issues and Per retiring at the end if the season that will be two young central defenders

Crash Fistfight

He does a mean scouse accent, though.


you don’t know what your doing, you don’t know what your doing




Call me cynical but would you trust Wenger and Board to get an equal or better replacement for Mustafi in the next 7 days? I certainly wouldn’t. This is very bizzare. If he goes we need 2 CB’s, but I’m sure we’d get the usual response of Monreal and Kolasinic being able to fill in..


If the plan is to settle Monreal on the left side of the back three, with Per or Kos in the middle and Kos/Holding/Chambers on the right…well OK, I can see some logic. The top starting three is strong and you have young, promising depth.

What I cannot abide is *not* having Sead be your default left wingback. That is insanity. Hector and Ox can fight for the right side, but pencil in Sead on the left every damn week in EPL games.


I love this. Sell him ,he isn’t good enough. Was never good enough,even at Valencia. Wenger being ruthless is something I’d like to see more off. Once he has a replacement in mind,I’m ok with it.

Be Cool

Exactly! Why are people loosing their marbles. There are better CB’s in the game and if Inter does cough up the £35mn, we should be able to get another CB in.


Seven days.
Seven days to sell Mustafi and buy a QUALITY replacement.
You are kidding right?
Has the last god knows how many transfer windows not shown you anything about how ineffective Arsenal and Wenger are in the transfer market?
Given the appalling management of player fitness and our injury record for the last ten years selling Mustafi would be a disaster…

Be Cool

For all we know, when Inter were sniffing around, Wenger got the ball rolling on the replacements. I mean we are all basing this on speculations, so till the cards are dealt there is no need increase our BP.


Mustafi really isn’t that good. He’s not built to be an EPL defender and I’d rather Wenger cuts our loses now. I can’t believe Wenger to not be so stupid and not have a replacement in mind, let’s pray for VvD. He’s the leader we need to play in the middle of a back three. Kos would be better on the left with Monreal back up and Holding/Chambers fighting for the other spot. Go on Wenger, pull the trigger!!



The behind the scenes shambles that ekes out every time he speaks just makes us more and more look like a laughing stock.
Gonna go watch ArsenalFanTv – makes more bloody sense than all of this right now.

Be Cool

Arsenal Fan TV? haha Thats Fox News equivalent for Arsenal.


I thought this summer was supposed to be the one where we went all out and got world class players in and make our first team and squad a force to be reckoned with?? 2 players in and 7 days to go. What another joke transfer window ????


I don’t know why anyone is worried as we have 33 central defenders at the club already


Unless there’s someone spectacular lined up, crazy decision!


We got enough LB’s, who needs a World Cup winning CB.


OK, but only if we sign Van Dijk or Koulibaly.


This is a man who will eloquently explain why your ass is on fire but that you should be happy and embrace the fact that it’s completely normal.


Just a thought, why can’t Arsenal play with 5 at the back.Wouldn’t it make arsenal more difficult to beat


I.m not convinced by Mustafi..wudn.t be that unhappy if he left for the same money he arrived for

Max Fischer

I’m surprised by the possibility of selling him as well, but I can’t help but wonder if we’d be OK if we were to do so. We’d still have: Kos Per Holding Chambers Bielik Monreal/Kolasinac/Elneny (in a pinch) I’m not saying I want to have this many unknowns in our CB rotation, but I must admit I’m a big fan of Chambers and Holding, so the idea of two really young and promising CBs not being blocked long term is really appealing. Would keep us pretty thin for cup matches if we keep the 3 back system, though. I also… Read more »


Problem is, he refuses to use BFG and Chambers, so that reduces the list to:

Two good options, one inexperienced one and three players who would be out of position at CB.

Max Fischer

I am confused about why he won’t use Chambers. I thought he played really well two years ago when we signed him from Bolton. He’s 22, has experience in the PL, and has shown nothing but promise with the position change. He and Holding should be playing constantly.

Michael Bolton Wanderers

if we are serious about this season then Keep mustafi and sign another quality CB. And I don’t need 20 year’s of experience to see the logic in this

Rambo sambo

What in the actual fuck is going on?

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