Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Mustafi linked with Lazio, Sokratis to Napoli off

Reports from Italy suggest that Shkodran Mustafi has agreed a move to Lazio.

The German is currently sidelined because of a serious hamstring injury he sustained in July, but with less than 10 months left on his Arsenal contract – and no new terms being offered – he’s a likely candidate for a departure.

As ever though, it remains to be seen how much truth there is in it, and what kind of deal the two clubs can do if it gets that far.

There were suggestions of a fee in the region of €12m, but this seems far-fetched to us for a player with so little time left on his contract.

As further evidence of how things can change, the proposed move of Sokratis Papastathopoulos to Napoli is now off, report Rai Sport. He had been earmarked as a replacement for Kalidou Koulibaly who was expected to leave, but he’ll now stay in Naples, leaving the Greek international with a decision to make.

He has barely featured under Mikel Arteta, and made it clear that his priority was to play, so his future remains unclear.

There is reported interest from clubs in the middle-east, and like Mustafi, he is into the final 12 months of his contract. Arsenal are keen to trim some of the fat from the playing squad, particularly in the central defensive area.

The transfer window closes on October 6th.

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Musti Soks, what a combination…



rajesh bummed

Hopefully they will be playing against each other in Italy


October 5 can’t come fast enough…


If it means Mustafi leaves, then yes.


While it’s a shame the deal with Sokratis fell through let’s hope the it pans out with Mustafi.


I’ll help him pack. I’ll even pay for his taxi fare to the airport. Just so long as he goes.


So much hate makes baby Jesus sad ;-(


So little time for us to get the deadwoods out and bring in Aour and Partey.

Gudang Bedil

Now, I wouldn’t call Mustafi a deadwood. He’s been excellent for the most part of Arteta’s reign. But yeah, selling him would be great for our overall transfer business.


Actually disagree with that in the sense that Mustafi is very much surplus to requirements aka deadwood. Moving players like that on so that we can get our top targets is priority.


Mustafi, along with Xhaka, are the two reasons we fell out of top-4 in Emery’s first season.

Between them, they’ve lost the club a lot of money and time.

The sooner they’re put out to pasture, the better.


We were out of the top four before Emery arrived. We dropped out of the top four at the end of 2016/17, after Wenger signed Mustafi in August 2016 – and we haven’t been back since.

Mustafi has proven to be Wenger’s worst signing by a country mile. One of our most expensive players not only in terms of monetary outlay, but also in constant mistakes that led to dropped points, Cup exits and missed ECL qualification.

I cannot wait to see the back of him.


Emery was the reason for that

John C

Emery got 7 more points and a position higher than Wenger the season before


Truth is still tough for many to deal with; it is hard for many to accept the role wenger played in our current situation. Wenger is an absolute legend – greatest Arsenal manager of all time and one of the greats of the English game, but it’s dreaming in technicolour to think he played no role in this. Arteta’s comments here are Wenger’s biggest problem during his twilight years: “So every game is different, the players you have available can change your game plans and we have to be able to adapt. I think one way now in football, it… Read more »

A Different George

I am glad there remain occasions on which you can continue your long-form commentary on Wenger’s legacy without straying too far from the thread.


Why do you compare to ONLY Wenger’s last season? Why not compare to his penultimate season instead? Wenger got five more points than Emery. Why not compare to the season before that? Wenger got one point more and finished three positions higher than Emery.
In fact, why not compare Wenger’s entire tenure to every other Arsenal manager’s entire tenure in history? You’ll find Wenger comes top of them all. And chances are that that will remain the case for a very very long time; certainly for the rest of your life, because you come across as an old fart!

John C

Maybe you should read what i was responding to and then your questions will be answered. And we can’t compare Wenger’s record with any other Arsenal manager because it’s not comparing apples with apples. Wenger was the only manager in Arsenal’s history up to that point that could qualify for the cash cow that is the Champions League without being champions! George Graham won the league in 89 and didn’t even qualify for Europe because english teams were banned. For last 17 season’s he was in charge you only had to be within the top 20% to qualify. With the… Read more »


Xhaka doesn’t pointlessly concede a penalty against Brighton, we win that game and we’re in the Champions League. Emery or no Emery. We were on course to turn that Crystal Palace game around, then Mustafi killed the team. I genuinely mean that. We played with absolutely no belief after that game. You can blame it on Emery if you want, but I choose to blame the professional footballer who made an error which would make an 8-year old walk away in shame. Whatever Emery’s failings, Mustafi was absolutely dreadful that season and consistently cost us goals and points. Neither Mustafi… Read more »


Xhaka didn’t tell fans like me to fuck off; he probably was talking to fans like you though.
You can blame Xhaka and Mustafi if you want, but I choose to blame the toxic fans who destroyed their and other players’ confidence, which caused their poor performances and mistakes. It’s no coincidence that both their performances have improved since we have been playing behind closed doors.
So glad Xhaka didn’t apologise to the fans – I’d have lost some respect for him if he had done. Give me the armband back!

Bossman Bill

Surprised this has as many downvotes as it has been awarded.

Whilst acknowledging that they’ve obviously tried to do their best, Xhaka and Mustafi are both intrinsically mirror the club’s decline.

Perhaps they’ve been mismanaged, but you buy players to improve on what you had, and IMO they’ve proven themselves again and again to be worse that what we had before.

So, I honestly wish them the very best in their future endeavours, but we need to get rid.


It’s true, and both were very expensive signings too. Xhaka (€45M), Mustafi (€41M). Just another two more examples of how poor we have been in the transfer market in the last decade or so. There are more examples of bad deals that good ones on our books. Even the ones that aren’t bad can easily be described as “ok” or “questionable”. Looking at our current squad, I’d say our best signings are Saka, Bellerin and AMN (stand out youth prospects with high value) and of our pruchases Auba, Tierney, and Leno (??) who cost a combined €125Million. Jury remains out… Read more »

Merlin’s Panini



Yes, well said. Definitely one of our absolute highlight signings – dam I wish he was fit!!

A Different George

You know, if Aubameyang, our best player–our only world-class player, the most important signing we have made (all of which I say dead seriously)–if that very same Aubameyang had not missed a penalty against Spurs–Spurs!–we would have come in fourth ahead of them. It’s a team sport; no one player is to blame for what has happened.


Against Brighton, Tottenham and Leicester – after lockdown – he was awful and one of the major reasons we only took one point from a possible nine.

He then had a reasonably good game against Man City in the FAC semi and now a section of our fan base think he’s the second coming of Tony Adams.

One swallow doesn’t make a summer.


Yeah he was “reasonably good” against City; much like how a giraffe is a reasonably tall creature.
No he’s not the second coming of Tony Adams, because he doesn’t get pissed everyday, leaving his body in less than optimum condition to play football, let alone influence all his teammates to do the same. Nor did he ever miss a chunk of any season because of a jail sentence for drink driving and knocking down a wall.


Neither has he been the greatest captain this club has had since Frank McLintock.

Neither has he led the team to four League titles, three FA Cups, two League Cups and a European Cup Winners’ Cup.

Neither has he captained his National side.

And unlike Adams, neither has he been able to own up to his mistakes.

And unlike Adams, neither has had the courage to look at himself rather than blame anyone or anything for said mistakes.

When Wenger signed Mustafi, we dropped out of the ECL. We haven’t been back. Go figure why.


Tony adams probably the best centre back this club has had. Mustafi probably the worst.


Deadwood is disrespectful, if Musti and Papa leave I wish them all the best and thank them for their contribution to the team. There’s no need to be nasty.


Just be nasty back to them; they deserve it.
The real deadwood at this club is some of our fanbase (AFTV, Piers Moron, etc.); that’s the fat that needs to be trimmed.

Billy bob

It means koulibaly is not going to the premier league for another season so that’s a good thing he won’t be strengthening one of our rivals, think sokratis and mustafi will be gone by 6/10/20


He’s a great player but at the same time we’re also talking about a player who is turning 30 at the end of this season & who Napoli has been trying unsuccessfully to get a world record fee for the past few years. It’s really hard to see someone paying the kind of money they want for him given his age – at most you would get 3 maybe 4 years out of him.


Yeah they missed the boat around when van dijk made the move to get that big $$$


well €ity did just concede 5, don’t count them out just yet. Nothing like a shiney new CB signing for €ity to miraculously fix defensive problems that aren’t individual, but are systematic when you play such possession football and commit such numbers forward against a really good counter attacking team. There are a lot of similarities between Leicester and this current Arsenal team, which is why we are having more success against bigger teams – we’re finally willing to play pragmatically and focus on structure and counter attacks over trying to out-possession the non-out-possessionables.


It certainly didn’t hurt that Vardy effectively dove for 2 of those penalites. If you blow on him he falls over.


5 pens for Leicester in three games already. It takes Arsenal about 3 seasons to get 5 pens.


Yep but Vardy is an ex-English international and Leicester the plucky underdogs with an owner worth 6 billion so it’s not diving….


City just signed a CB from Benfica for 65 mil


I wonder what kind of business we will do during now till the end of the window…. I am pessimistic, therefore I expect nothing coming in… Hope I am proved wrong, and we can see Aouar and/or Partey.

Pat Fried Rice with Egg

I’ll chalk it up as a win if we get just one of them. I’d prefer both coming in, but seeing as we’re sometimes bereft of creativity, would prefer Aouar if given to pick only one.

Vaibhav Pandey

Longer Aouar saga runs, more likely it will be go through on final day. Although we might need some money coming in via sales of Mustafi, Torriera etc or create a payment schedule such that it doesn’t hurt the club in long run.


I don’t know why but I am actually pretty optimistic. We have a really good opportunity this window to dramatically improve the team and because FFP rules have been relaxed it is just possible that silent Stan might be inclined to invest a relatively small amount of money. The fact that the focus is on Aouar at the moment suggests that they want to negotiate as much as possible on that deal. They know what they have to pay for Partey and can leave that until the end of the window. It suits us to let Lyon believe that we… Read more »


We need something. I love what Arteta is doing but quality in midfield is important in this league and I can’t see us getting in the top 4 without at least one addition in there. I expect Liverpool will show us that tonight. I always felt that defensively our problems are more structural, which Arteta is doing a good job fixing. I think creatively we are lacking, which is why this Lyon chap seems like a good find.


With all the talk of rebuilding our midfield, I really wonder how it might have been if we still had Aaron Ramsey. Not suggesting we should get him back, but I cannot envision any scenario where he sat on the bench instead of Xhaka. He had fitness problems, yes, but he also gave much more quality to the midfield.


Can’t affect football matches if you are stuck in the treatment room for months on end. This unfortunately was the main issue with Ramsey.


Sadly yes. Great when fit.

Gus Caesar

I have a feeling that Koulibaly will still move (actually have a horrible feeling he will go to Liverpool…) and this will all go down to the wire. Lots of dominos start to fall when the big first one falls.


After yesterday how are City not after any CB with a pulse.

Hugh J'Arse

We’ve got a couple they can have….


Ruben Diaz is going to City. Quality signing tbh.


If this is true, then Merry Christmas everyone. ???

Public Elneny

I’m not worried that we won’t be able to shift Sokratis. He wants out, and there will be plenty of clubs desperate for an experienced and capable CB in the last few days. Several prem clubs look like they could do with someone like him even The Mustafi news is excellent, I really didn’t expect we’d be able to move him on, especially after his injury. Tbh I was worried we would extend his contract to ‘protect his value’ even. It’s encouraging that he’s had a change of heart away from clinging on to his contract for dear life, to… Read more »


I fear we will be stuck with a lot of the deadwood for the remainder of the season. Covid has done a number on many clubs finances, and where many may have taken a risk in the past, I don’t believe they will in this climate. I am more concerned of the disruptive nature of players who will get no game time

John C

But those with money will wait until the last minute to drive the price down, leaving cash strapped clubs with no option but to accept or face months without the necessary funds.

My guess the biggest problem facing Arsenal is we have too many players and must sell before we buy otherwise we’ll have un-registered players on big wages

Gus Caesar

Yeah I agree. Our pre-Covid wages will be hard-matched elsewhere so I think we need to get used to either seeing people leave very cheaply/on loan or being stuck on the fringes of things. I do think we’ll manage to shift sufficient numbers of players to be able to afford to bring in one more midfielder though. And there’s an argument that too much change at once can also be counter-productive to squad morale etc.


I don’t know why fellow Arsenal fans are still clamoring for Aouar. He is not worth the €50+ that Lyon wants, especially when we may be able to have serious long-standing impact with Partey or Upemecano (or both) for similar fees. Besides, we have Ozil. Arteta needs to humble himself a little and look at the reality. Arsenal is great going forward but the midfield and defense is terrible. Fix where the faults are and bring Ozil in from the cold.

Bossman Bill

Whatever you think about him as an individual, Mesut is definitely not the solution


Agreed, whilst it is galling that Ozil is dragging £350K a week (granted not his fault) and need him off the wage bill, we need to look forward.

Aouar is undoubtedly fitter, definitely younger and a great prospect. That said would his arrival potentially harm youngsters development the likes of Nelson, Smith-Rowe…..tricky one….


And the rest of our midfield are…?

Grince Pooner

Yes; very intelligent. Let’s refuse to take the available vaccine and continue to bitch that the available vaccine is definitely not the cure but the solution could be that 8 inch lilac branch some French shaman is offering as a cure-for-all.


I think we’ve passed the point of no return with Ozil. It appears that Arsenal are content to run down his staggering contract. We could bite the bullet and just pay him off, but that sends a bad message so we’re stuck with him I fear.


Mate, we’re already sending a bad message.

The rest of football are having a good laugh at the fact we’ve ostracised our best creative midfielder.

I’ve lost count the number of times other clubs supporters have asked me why we’re not playing Ozil – and how they’d have him at least on the bench for their side. Some of these guys are Chelsea, Liverpool and United fans. They can’t all be wrong.


@ricky.. Can you humble yourself at your hot headed student as a teacher? If you can’t don’t expect arteta to.

Dave cee

Oh Jesus, do you even watch Arsenal?


He probably does. And what he’s watching is an Arsenal midfield minus Mesut Ozil – and minus any midfield creativity.


I’ve been a huge suporter of Özil from the day we got him but it’s obvious he’s done playing for us. Maybe one day we’ll find out what actually happened with him or between him and the club. Maybe there is a logical reason for how things have panned out but it’s safe to say that the extension to his contract didn’t yield the desired results.

It’s a great shame but it is what it is but like Wolsty said, we need to look forward now.

Grince Pooner

Ozil is being given the Colin Kaepernick treatment because he refused a pay cut without assurances (I would have done the same) and spoke out on the Uighur situation in China. History will shit on the club for sidelining him. It makes absolutely no sense why Ozil is not on the pitch. This team has no creative spark and looked embarrassing today.


Top post. Well said mate.

Thank God there’s not a complete lack of brains on this page.


A word of advice, mate. This page is infested with The Anti Ozil Brigade.

Trying to talk midfield creativity common sense to that lot is like asking lemmings not to jump off a cliff. Or asking Kroenke to back Arteta in the transfer market. Or asking Mustafi to defend properly – you get the idea.

That said, it is very funny reading their angry comments about state of our midfield when the glaringly obvious becomes apparent even to them.

Grince Pooner

Arteta played Ozil when he took over the club and likely still wants to play him. He is not playing Ozil because he is being told by the ownership/management not to; presumably because (a) Ozil was sensible and asked questions before agreeing to a pay cut and (b) he spoke out on the Uighur situation. This is and should be clear as day to anyone paying attention. It’s disgraceful behavior by Arsenal and the club will apologize for it within the next 10-15 years.


Out failure to offload has been disappointing… we all knew the challenges but I suspect we’ve priced ourselves out of exporting some deadwood.


Well, there are several very average players on very good salaries on our books who obviously don’t want to move for a pay cut (can’t blame them, I guess). It’s not the best scenario, is it. Add on to that the type of transfer market we have (and probably will have for some time) against a background of falling revenues, empty stadiums etc. because of Covid and clubs generally aren’t going to risk money on potential “duds”. It’s a worry for Arsenal because squad strength/quality in depth is vital for a challenge for a top 4 finish and we don’t… Read more »


Any news on if Tierney travelled with the squad to Liverpool?


I’ve got the champagne out, but not opened. While Mustafi has been “better” recently, he remains a monumental waste of money – one of the biggest in the last decade or so – for the club. It’s still staggering to realise that he cost £35 million (you could hear the laughter from Valencia in Madrid apparently) and a massive salary for these six long, long years. And for what? In the main, error-strewn performances that you’d hardly expect from an inexperienced youngster, let alone a so-called “seasoned professional”. I think we’ll be doing well to get a fee anywhere near… Read more »


Arsenal are like TKMaxx with a lot of last seasons fashion to off load before bringing in new stock. They also have a very expensive designer item they have been unable to give away at any price.

Dave cee

That designer item seems more than content to sit in a box in the storeroom


Away from the light and the bustle of the shop.


Iwobi for 35 mil was such good business haha


I’d love a repeat – will lightning strike twice?


While we’re trying, and trying, and trying, to offload these players, some news on one we let go earlier in the window: “Sam Greenwood scored sensational Leeds hat-trick.” Seems we may have been a tad too quick letting that young man leave – for the pittance we did, anyway.

Question: How many “Greenwood fees”, £3million inc. addons, will we get for Mustafi and/or Sokratis? Tricky…


He wouldn’t sign a contract, neither will Balogun. There’s nothing the club can do to force them, although Balogun, like Guendouzi, is finding out that no decent club actually wants him, so maybe he’ll reconsider.


That’s a reasonable price for a player still on the mend. If we regard Mustafi’s cost for us at 35m, over last 4 or 5 seasons its about 7m depreciation per season so minting anywhere close to 10m quid is good going to say the least. Sokratis I felt we could have got more from him given he is a solid enough performer and even if older is fit. Surprise we are not getting more. Would like to see us get 10m for him or close to. But likely if we can get 4m off of him, it will be… Read more »

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