Shkodran Mustafi has publicly admitted he’s open to ‘taking the next step’ by leaving Arsenal if possible, but he’ll keep playing his football for the time being.
Arsenal and Unai Emery didn’t make much of a secret of the fact they were trying to move Mustafi on this summer, but they had no luck in that regard.
According to Emery, Mustafi was the one who decided not to leave, and the head coach insisted he was willing to reintroduce the defender to the group and give him further chances on the pitch. We saw evidence of that with the German centre-back getting a start against Frankfurt.
Mustafi suggests he’s willing to go if there’s an option to do so though.
“I always said: If it is possible, I am open to take the next step. If not, I keep playing my football,” Mustafi told Sky Sports.
“My father, who is my agent, spoke to the club. I am an Arsenal player and have still got two years on my contract.
“The manager said he sees me the same way he sees every player in the team. That’s why I played today and that’s it. We are going to see what the future holds.”
Clearly, either Emery or Mustafi are being a bit liberal with the truth. The head coach says it was Mustafi’s decision to stay, whereas the player claims he would move if he had the chance.
Reading between the lines, it’s likely Mustafi just didn’t think the options on the table were suitable for him.
The 27-year-old played well against Frankfurt, so if he keeps making cameo appearances like that, hopefully, he’ll find a good buyer in January.