Is it possible to assess the effect of a player upon the future of Arsenal FC after just a few games? Normally No, but every so often a player just ….. fits.
Think back to April 1996. We were playing Sheffield Wednesday (what happened to them?) and losing 1-0 when Ray Parlour got injured. Onto the pitch came a lanky French kid as his replacement and by half time, just 17 minutes, we knew we were witnessing the arrival of Wenger’s Arsenal. Despite Wrighty scoring a hatrick PV4 was named MotM.
It would be hyperbole to say that Mustafi will make a similar impact at AFC but he has done all we could ask so far. As I wrote above – he fits. In just a few weeks he has meshed with Kos into a fine CB partnership. BFG, Gabriel and Holding will struggle to get pitch time as a CB pairing are rarely rotated.
There have been concerns about our lack of height at set pieces and we do appear to be vulnerable; at Burnley, Vokes could and should have scored plus some blob hit the bar. Kos and Xhaka are both 6´1″ and Mustafi just 6´0″. Santi, Sanchez, Theo, Bellerin, Monreal etc are all under 5´10″. I guess we will have to rely on our massive GK who stands at 6´5″!
€35m makes Mustafi the 4th most expensive defender in world football, today it appears to be money well spent. Who would you prefer – David Luiz, John Stones, Mangala, Ottamendi or Mustafi? BTW Mangala is out on a season’s loan at Valencia which is why we haven’t seen much of the oaf.
What do I like about Mustafi? His positional awareness is excellent, his passing conversion averages over 85%, he is not afraid to carry the ball, he is vocal and already bosses the defence, his tackling is powerful and the man will not be bullied- will he Mr Costa?
What I do not like is his first name …. Shkodran. What kind of a parent names their kid Shkodran? What is wrong with Peter or Michael or Brian? And yes, I know his parents are Albanian – it doesn’t excuse them.
I rarely make predictions but here is one – Mustafi will be the next Captain of Arsenal. He is that good.
written by Big Raddy