When Unai Emery went public on Arsenal’s willingness / eagerness to let Shkodran Mustafi leave, it looked as though the German had played his last game for the Gunners.
In the end, a move never materialised. Clubs are thought to have tested the water but having been given a whopping contract that still has a couple of years to run, you can hardly blame the defender for sticking things out at the Emirates.
On the one hand, he knows he’s at the bottom of the pecking order now, propping things up with Dinos Mavropanos, on the other, it’s pretty clear that when he is given game time, like he was last night, he has to take those opportunities to put himself in the shop window. After all, he’s still only 27 which in the life of a centre-back is pretty young.
Last night, he did pretty well against Eintracht Frankfurt. While the game was comically open and Arsenal allowed the home side 24 shots at goal, at least we came away with a win and a clean sheet.
After the game, Mustafi made clear that he has no intention of kicking up a fuss about being relegated, for the most part, to a bit-part role.
“I‘ve never been someone who begins a war when something doesn‘t work out,” he told the press in the mix zone after the 3-0 win.
“I always said: If it is possible, I am open to take the next step. If not, I keep playing my football.
“My father, who is my agent, spoke to the club. I am an Arsenal player and I’ve still got two years contract.
“The manager said he sees me the same way he sees every player in the team. That‘s why I played today and that‘s it. We are going to see what the future holds.”
You can’t argue with that.