Jose Baxter, who played with Shkodran Mustafi at Everton believes the German is a ‘perfect fit’ for Arsenal and is a player whose talent was immediately evident.
“As soon as he came in you could tell he was talented,” Baxter told ITV News.
“He wasn’t the biggest but he could definitely play.
“Alan Stubbs was the manager [of the reserves] at the time, who was a defender himself, and he taught him about the basics of defending; heading and kicking.
“He [Mustafi] was more of a get down on his chest and play sort of defender, because he can really play. He was always the one that was working hard in training.
“He would practice free-kicks and penalties afterwards because he was that good technically.
“He used to live by mine, but he never used to go out in Liverpool. I used to hang out with him most days. We’d meet up and go into training and he was just a genuinely nice lad.
“He always tried to get involved with the lads, and he’d try to pick the accent up.
“He always wanted to learn, on and off the pitch. He was a top lad really.”
Mustafi signed for Everton in 2009 when he was just 17 but after three years with the club and just one senior appearance that came in the Europa League (and nine unused sub appearances), he moved on to Sampdoria in Italy.
Two years there saw him make 53 appearances, scoring one goal before Valencia came in for him, sealing a £6.8m deal in 2014. He made 78 appearances for the Spaniards, netting six times over the course of his two seasons there.
Arsenal paid £34.85m, meaning that Valencia made a profit of more than 500% on an investment made just two years previously.
That’s a bit of business that even Arsene Wenger couldn’t help but be insanely jealous of.