Arsenal allowed Shkodran Mustafi to leave in January, cancelling the last six months of his contract so he could join Schalke for free, but if the German thought life was tough at Arsenal he learned things could get much worse.
Now worth just £3.6m, Shkodran Mustafi was never worth the £36.9m Arsenal paid for him. In fact, at the time they bought the central defender, in a deal that cost over £60m in total, Gary Neville admitted when he was at Valencia they couldn’t give Mustafi away.
Such was Arsenal’s desperation for a decent centreback in 2016, they threw all they had at the Spaniards in the hope that the price tag alone would transform Mustafi.
It did not.
Schalke have been relegated from the Bundeliga, sitting adrift at the bottom of the table, 13 points from Hertha Berlin in 17th place. They were in trouble before Mustafi arrived, sacking their manager not long after in a move that was blamed largely on a revolt led by Mustafi and Sead Kolasinac, whom Schalke would like to keep.
A run of four games, that saw Schalke concede 13 goals, resulted in Mustafi being dropped for ‘sporting reasons’, something Schalke confirmed on their official Twitter account.
ℹ️ Shkodran #Mustafi is not in the squad for sporting reasons today. William is also not included for disciplinary reasons. Both players will have the chance to impress again in training next week.#S04 | #B04S04
— FC Schalke 04 (@s04_en) April 3, 2021
Mustafi started in all four of those games and had played so badly in one, including scoring an own goal, it was deemed Worst Performance in the Bundesliga this season.
The next day, it was reported that Mustafi may never play for the Germans again, so bad had things gone for him, but he was back on the bench for Schalke’s next game, against FC Ausburg, and came on for the final 12 minutes of the match.
That was followed with another place on the bench, getting 34 minutes in the next game before being handed a start against Armenia Bielfeld.
In total, Mustafi has played in nine Bundesliga games, starting seven. Schalke have won just one of those and it was the game Mustafi played the fewest minutes in – the 12 minutes against Augsburg.
Mustafi only signed a short-term contract until the summer with Schalke so he will no doubt be on the look-out for a new club.