After the first-half of Arsenal’s clash with Chelsea last month, you would have been forgiven for wondering if Shkodran Mustafi was making one of his final appearances for the Gunners.
The German made a terrible error in that game. And the fans would certainly be entitled to point out that it was hardly an anomaly for the centre-back to land his side in trouble.
In fairness to Mustafi, he produced a superb second-half performance considering the size of the mistake. And he has seemingly continued to go from strength to strength in the weeks since.
Arsenal extended their unbeaten run to eight games in all competitions on Sunday. Mikel Arteta’s side thrashed Newcastle United 4-0 at the Emirates with a scintillating second-half display.
The Gunners have now collected two clean sheets in a row. And while some of his teammates are, understandably, taking many of the headlines, Mustafi’s display has not been overlooked by a number of the fans on social media.
The defender was largely solid against the Magpies, who have the potential to cause problems going forward.
Whoscored.com shows that Mustafi completed 71 of the 79 passes he attempted. Meanwhile, no Arsenal player won more duels than the seven the 27-year-old managed.
And plenty of Arsenal fans on social media have been keen to heap praise on Mustafi. He has come in for a lot of criticism since joining the Gunners.
And some will understandably be wary of getting carried away. He arguably still needs to prove that he can remain consistent for a long period.
But many felt that Mustafi was outstanding against Newcastle. And they have also lauded Arteta for the impact his arrival appears to have had on his game.
Here is what some of the Gunners supporters made of Mustafi’s display…
Love him or hate him, he has stepped up immensely since his mistake at Stamford Bridge. One of our best performers in recent weeks. Credit to him. pic.twitter.com/6PwRLuJxea
— Patrick Timmons (@PatrickTimmons1) February 16, 2020
Who noticed the way Mustafi has turned into a dependable centre half? Man is playing like one hell of a good player. I wonder what MA must have been telling him
— J’Ovie (@KingEmma87) February 17, 2020
The biggest improvement under Arteta are the 2 players that got the most hate from the #Arsenal fan base – Xhaka and Mustafi. Game after game, they’ve put in solid performances. Both deserve to start each time.
— karmkhanna (@karmkhanna) February 17, 2020
Ngl mustafi has actually been our best defender under arteta , he’s improved so much.
— Thierry Henry is the goat 🐐 (@KingThierry_) February 16, 2020
Mustafi and Luis played brilliantly today, all attention naturally going to the front three and saka but another clean sheet to that cb pairing.
— aubaussie (@Aussiegunner981) February 16, 2020
Mustafi was immense again today. Amazing what a bit of confidence can do.
— Adam Beard (@Adam_Beard14) February 16, 2020
Can we all just take a moment to appreciate Mustafi’s performance? We’ve all seen him working very hard in training photos and looks like a completely different guy just lately! Low key one of the star of the show tonight! Let’s keep winning!! #COYG 🔴⚪️@MustafiOfficial pic.twitter.com/AF0TGdfGC9
— Arsenal Rage (@RageArsenal) February 16, 2020
Imagine 3 months ago if someone told you Xhaka and mustafi would be starting every game and we’d mostly (mostly) be fine with it. There’s a redemption arc for literally every player.
— YankeeGunner (@YankeeGunner) February 16, 2020