Shkodran Mustafi has revealed that he used to be a striker when he was a teenager.
The centre-back admitted that when he signed for Hamburg in 2006 at the age of 14, he was gradually pushed back until he was a defender. So, I imagine he probably wasn’t a very good striker but it’ll be interesting to see if he still has an eye for goal.
“First of all, I’m happy now because otherwise I don’t know if I would be here,” Mustafi told Arsenal Player.
“But when I started, I started as a striker.
“When I was only 14, I signed for Hamburg and slowly went all the way back to the defence.
“I played in front of the defence for a few games and then in the end I ended up being a central defender and then I got a call up for the national team, for the under-15s at this time, and then it became my position.”
It’s not actually that unusual for players to start off in one position and be moved elsewhere as their talent develops – or ceases to develop in one area. Even when they’re established in one place, they can still be moved. Obviously, usually the position they’re moved to isn’t the polar opposite of their existing one but, as Mustafi said, at Hamburg he was moved back over time. It didn’t just happen over night.
Well, at least we know who we can count on next time we have a penalty shoot out, eh?
He loves a header – that’s for sure.