Arsene Wenger gave a rather surprising answer when quizzed about Shkodran Mustafi’s future at Arsenal ahead of the Gunners’ trip to Liverpool.
Wenger gave a strangely vague answer when asked about whether Mustafi could be leaving Arsenal this summer in his pre-Liverpool presser on Thursday morning.
“It’s difficult for me to speak about any individual cases because the transfer market in the final seven days is always very difficult to predict what will happen,” he said.
“You have to make quick and sharp decisions, you can’t come out in a press conference with how you will respond to any solicitation.”
When you look at Wenger’s replies to whether Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alexis Sanchez could be leaving, you can understand why his answer over Mustafi’s future was so unexpected. It was very different.
“I want him (Ox) to stay at the club and be one of the big players of the future,” the boss insisted during the same press conference.
“He is one of the players the team needs to be built around. I want him to commit to the club and be one of the carriers of the values of our team.”
On Alexis, he said, “The fact that he goes into the last year of his contract doesn’t mean that we have no chance to extend it.
“At the moment we haven’t managed to do it.”
When asked whether the Chilean would stay past deadline day on 31 August, Wenger simply said “yes”.
Until this point, almost everyone had written off the claims that Mustafi could be leaving Arsenal this summer, with the Gunners reportedly demanding at least £35m from Inter Milan or Juventus.
Arsenal only signed the 25-year-old for the same amount from Valencia a year ago and while he’s not been the best defender in the world, he wasn’t exactly on most peoples’ list of potential outgoings.
What’s more, Arsenal seem to be lacking out-and-out centre-backs this season, so unless the boss has someone else lined up, shipping off one of the only ones we have at the club seems downright bizarre.
The only real reason for the departure that we’ve been fed by the press is that the German international has found it hard to bond with the Arsenal squad, which, again, is a strange reason in itself.
We’ll just have to see how this one pans out.