Arsenal: Ozil important in Mustafi decision; Xhaka compared to legend; Inter midfield linked
Arsenal are being made to wait to hear official confirmation of the signings of Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez, but the German defender announced the move himself with an interview with Sky Germany.
Mustafi also said that Arsenal’s German contingent of Per Mertesacker and Mesut Ozil were a factor in his decision to join the club, with Ozil particularly influential.
Arsenal agreed a fee totalling £35 million with Valencia last week, and Mustafi is looking forward to playing in a team that suits his style.
He said: “I did not see Per for a long time because he quit international football but I talked to Mesut.
“He told me everything I wanted to know. Everything was positive, so I was convinced very fast. It did not take much.
“”I have always loved Arsenal, I like how they play here, it is not typical English.
“The game here is more like in Spain and with the German national team, keeping the ball on the grass, so it was easy to convince me.”
Arsene Wenger has never spend anything close to this sum of money on a defender before, so one would expect Mustafi to go straight into the team despite Rob Holding’s solid start to his Arsenal career.
Elsewhere, Wenger has waxed lyrical over the talents of Granit Xhaka, comparing him to Double winning midfielder Emmanuel Petit.
“We have a game that is based on shorter passes than other teams so sometimes when you have a player who can kick the longer ball, it gives us a chance to get some oxygen and some space.
“He is a guy who plays naturally behind the ball. He is a bit similar to Petit in the way he plays football. He likes to sit, give good long balls and be available with the centre-backs.”
Some Arsenal fans might be wondering why this type of player was not brought in sooner, given the regard that those quotes suggest Wenger has for the position.
Mikel Arteta did a sterling job for Arsenal in that role for three seasons, but Xhaka brings extra physical presence as well as an even better range of passing.
Arteta was rendered physically incapable of contributing much over the last two years due to injury, and Arsenal have sorely missed a midfield conductor.
Comparison to Petit is high praise indeed, and if Xhaka can get anywhere close to matching the Frenchman’s achievements Arsenal will be in for a strong season.
Finally, the agent of Internazionale midfielder Marcelo Brozovic has claimed that Arsenal are a one of a number of European clubs interested in him.
Wenger has said Arsenal’s business in near enough done this summer, and Arsenal are fantastically well-stocked in midfield, so there looks to be little in this one.
Featured image: All rights reserved by phimmoi nhat
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