Unai Emery has not closed the door on Shkodran Mustafi after he chose to remain at Arsenal in spite of speculation linking him with a move away this summer.
The 27-year-old German centre-back currently has a strained relationship with the club’s passionate following which comes as a result of a string of lacklustre performances.
Mustafi’s struggles: Five key things to know…
- Shkodran Mustafi joined Arsenal from Valencia in 2016.
- He’s gone on to make 115 appearances for the Gunners in all competitions, scoring eight goals.
- Mustafi, though, currently has a strained relationship with supporters.
- The 20-time German international was tipped to leave the Emirates in the summer.
- After deciding to remain, he’s yet to play but Arsenal boss Unai Emery is prepared to give him another chance.
He’s yet to feature under Emery this season with the Spanish tactician preferring a central defensive partnership consisting of summer signing David Luiz and Greek international Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
However, that could soon all change with the Gunners kick-starting their Europa League campaign as well as there being a League Cup fixture against Nottingham Forest on the horizon.
Despite his current predicament, Emery is content with Mustafi’s presence and stressed he’s part of his thoughts as long as the World Cup winner remains proffesional.
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“Mustafi decided to be here and when he decided to be here, he’s like any other player,” he said.
“Of course I respect his decision. When he decided I spoke to him and said, ‘You’re one more in the squad, I’m going to work with you as other players’.
“I don’t know exactly who was in his decision [to stay], but when he decided to stay here, it’s another player in the squad. Since he decided to stay here, he’s working every day with a big motivation and good spirit.
“That is one issue I want from every player: training with good spirit, helping and after giving us his performance in training and after, if I decide, in the match.”