Arsenal preparing to sell Shkodran Mustafi, but is the price right?

Amid interest from the likes of Inter Milan and Juventus, the Daily Mail say that Arsenal would be prepared to sell central defender Shkodran Mustafi provided that they can recover the £35 million they paid for him 12 months ago.

That would be a strange move from the Gunners, given that in his debut season in 2016/17, Mustafi looked like a strong and valuable addition to the Arsenal squad. A regular in the starting line-up, his composure and strength at the back was a welcome addition.

With doubts surrounding the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, it would be an inexplicable move to allow another key first team player to depart without even making a profit or a player really agitating for a move.

In Mustafi’s absence at the start of this season, after he was given an extended summer break after featuring for Germany as they won the Confederations Cup in Russia, the defence at the Emirates has been a shambles. With the young and inexperienced Rob Holding drafted in, he has often found himself lining up alongside two left-backs in Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac.

Mustafi looks to be the natural successor to Per Mertesacker when the giant retires at the end of the current campaign. If Mustafi is sold, they will have to start again from scratch, with only one established first team central defender in Laurent Koscielny after Gabriel Paulista has already departed this summer.

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If this interest from Italy had emerged earlier in the summer, it may be understandable that the club could look to replace the German. Coming just days before the deadline, it would be completely incomprehensible to sell him at any price, let alone simply recouping the money that they paid for him only 12 months ago to bring him to London from La Liga side Valencia.

Arsenal’s transfer policy of late has left a lot to be desired, particularly regarding departures as they have allowed several star men to run down their contracts. To sell Mustafi on top of that would be one of the poorest decisions of the bunch.

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