Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi reportedly asked to leave the club this summer, who were keen to allow him a departure after being unsatisfied by his debut season at the Emirates.
According to BBC journalist David Ornstein on Twitter: “Shkodran Mustafi asked to leave, which suited Arsenal because it gave them the chance to replace a player they were disappointed with last season, except they failed to land a replacement.”
Arsenal were having trouble with the wage bill and needed to sell to make space for more players. However, those identified to be let go ended up not being moving on, forcing Arsene Wenger to put other players up for sale instead.
One of these was Gabriel who joined Valencia. Another was Mustafi after the German international made it clear he wanted a move. Arsenal had to find a replacement or face going into the season with two first-team centre-backs gone.
West Bromwich Albion defender Jonny Evans was reportedly looked at as a possible replacement for Mustafi this summer, having targeted the player last summer before signing the 25-year-old in the first place.
The news of Mustafi’s intentions will be worrying to fans, given that the Gunners are somewhat relying on the German defender in the squad for the season.
Having players in the team that don’t actually want to play for has widely been accepted as part of the reason Arsenal put in such a pathetic performance at Anfield in the Gunners’ last league game.
They’ll need to turn things round now, starting with Bournemouth at the weekend.