According to L’Equipe in July, Mikel Arteta wants to extend Shkodran Mustafi’s contract at Arsenal.
Since taking over, Mikel Arteta has managed to transform Shkodran Mustafi from a total liability into one of the best centrebacks at Arsenal. To be fair, to claim that title, you only need to be able to stand up without falling over, so it’s not really one to add to your CV.
Still, he has at least improved. Mostly. In some areas.
A player who has looked like he was destined the door ever since he arrived, Mustafi’s contract with Arsenal is up next season. Despite Raul Sanllehi’s pledge that players would not be allowed to reach the final year of their contract, here we are with another.
Speaking at a press conference in July, Arteta said that Mustafi is aware of what he thinks about him and, when you look through many of Arteta’s post-match comments, they are filled with praise for the 28-year-old World Cup winner who no longer gets selected for his national team.
Mustafi hasn’t played for Germany since 2017, approximately one year after he joined Arsenal.
This news might have been better received had I come across it before he game against Spurs rather than after.
Speaking after the match against Tottenham in which Arsenal embarrassed themselves again, Arteta was asked about his disappointment with Arsenal’s defending. “It is mentally tough because in your mindset you are ahead, you are controlling the game and everything that we talked about is actually happening,” he said.
We have to learn. In every game, something happens
“Then you just give that moment away and mentally it affects the whole mood and the momentum and our energy.
“Still, we came back in the second half and we were even better, we were even more dominant still, with more control and we were really looking to score the second goal and just in one isolated action, we conceded the set-piece.
“We have to learn. In every game, something happens.
“A little margin here, a little margin there. I’m sure we will get there and I am proud because I have never seen them play like the way they have done today in this ground. That’s really positive but I’m sorry for the fans because I know how much it means to all of them.
“We were very willing to give them a big moment of happiness and unfortunately, I am sorry but we could not do it.”
Much of this was reported before Mustafi ripped his hamstring tendon, requiring surgery. What that means for his future is not clear yet.