Mikel Arteta has suggested to Football London that he is willing to hand Shkodran Mustafi an Arsenal lifeline.
The Spaniard watched on in horror as the German international gifted Chelsea a chance to open the scoring in last week’s 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.
His comical attempt at a backpass led to David Luiz being dismissed after fouling Tammy Abraham,
It’s not the first time the £90,000-a-week (Spotrac) defender has been in the firing line.
He has struggled for form throughout this season, subsequently struggling to make the 18-man matchday squad on several occasions.
Arteta has now suggested, however, that the 27-year-old could earn a reprieve at the Emirates Stadium.
The recently appointed boss was quizzed on whether he was the man to change Mustafi’s form.
He told Football London: “It’s my job to do that. Absolutely. I have worked with players like that, I’ve had team-mates like this and there is always a moment where there is a click.
“I can accept a mistake, no problem. What I won’t accept is someone who makes a mistake and after he stops playing. That player is not acceptable for our team.
“I came here and his attitude is always right. He wants to help. He made a mistake, it’s okay, I like more the reaction.”
Mustafi is likely to play in tonight’s game at Bournemouth, with Luiz set to serve his suspension.
The centre-back has been at the Emirates since 2016, playing 127 times for the club since joining.
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Several European clubs have been linked with Mustafi this month and Arsenal supporters must have been getting themselves excited.
The spiral in Mustafi’s form has been alarming during the last 18 months and a severance seemed best for all parties.
Arteta’s quotes could now suggest that a new signing at the back won’t be on the agenda for this month, with Mustafi set for a reprieve.
The summer could see Mustafi finally leave but for now, it looks as though Arsenal supporters will have to get used to the German being in the team.