Arsenal have announced the signing of Valencia central defender Shkodran Mustafi in a deal worth around £35 million.
The German international has joined on a long term deal and strengthens Arsene Wenger‘s defensive options after long term injures to Per Mertesacker and Gabriel.
Arsenal Announce Shkodran Mustafi Deal
Mustafi joins hours after Arsenal confirmed a deal for Spanish striker Lucas Perez from Deportivo La Coruna. The 2014 World Cup winner joins fellow summer signings Granit Xhaka, Rob Holding, Takuma Asano and Kelechi Nwakali. Mustafi’s transfer settles Arsenal fans’ nerves after a stuttering start to the season and can make his debut against Southampton.
Shortly after Arsenal revealed the deal, Arsene Wenger told the official website how excited he is to sign the defender: “He is at the right age. He has good experience. He is a very focused player who can play with the ball as well. We have taken a great player but have prepared well for the future.”
Mustafi recently revealed that Mesut Özil was instrumental in his transfer to Valencia after speaking positively about Arsenal. He further told Sky Sports Germany: “I have always loved Arsenal, I like how they play here, it is not typical English. The game here is more like in Spain and with the German national team, keeping the ball on the grass, so it was easy to convince me.”
Shkodran Mustafi started his playing career after joining Everton’s youth academy but made only one competitive appearance in the UEFA Cup. Frustrated with his lack of playing time, Mustafi moved to Sampdoria in Janaury 2012 and made 50 appearances in a two-year spell in Italy. His performances in Serie A caught the attention of Valencia who signed the German international for £8 million in August 2016 where he became an established star at Los Che.
Arsenal’s new man also featured in Germany’s 2014 World Cup win in Brazil and appeared at this summer’s Euros, scoring a headed goal in a 2-0 win over Ukraine.
MARSEILLE, FRANCE – JULY 7: Shkodran Mustafi of Germany vies for the ball during the UEFA Euro 2016 semi final match between Germany and France at Stade Velodrome in Merseille, France on July 7, 2016. (Photo by Metin Pala/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)