Unai Emery says he has no problem with Shkodran Mustafi’s decision to stay at Arsenal despite making it clear this summer that he was happy for the German to leave the club.
A couple of Italian clubs are said to have been sniffing around the defender this summer but having signed for the Gunners on big wages, negotiating personal terms was always going to be difficult. It probably didn’t help that Arsenal fans kept highlighting in minute detail how unreliable he is.
To be fair to Mustafi, he probably would have gone had a decent offer been made but you can hardly blame him for sticking things out at the Emirates. Emery seems to have taken a similar view of the situation.
“Mustafi decided to be here and when he did, for me, he is another player like the others in the team,” Emery told press on Friday.
“Of course I respect his decision and, when he decided, I spoke with him and said ‘for me you are in the squad and I am going to work with you as with the other players’.
“I don’t know all exactly what was in his decision (to stay) but, when we spoke and he decided to be here, it was a start with him as another player in the squad.
“He is working every day with a big motivation and good experience. That is what we want, training with good experience, helping and, after, giving us his performance.”
Arsenal are likely to start Sokratis and David Luiz in the centre of defence against Watford on Sunday and also have English duo Calum Chambers and the newly fit Rob Holding to call upon. Dinos Mavropanos is working his way back from a groin problem and is another who could potentially feature in the cup competitions this season.