Everyone loves Shkodran Mustafi, or so it would seem considering all the praise he has been receiving from every possible facet of the soccer arena. You do not need to look at the sportsbetting odds to know that Mustafi is definitely a boon for Arsenal.
Mustafi’s presence has most prominently been felt on the pitch; fans have seen him exceed expectations ever since he left Valencia and made the move to Arsenal for 35 million. It was a move that, while attracting some criticism from some fans, seems to have paid off because Arsenal has only conceded three goals in the six games they have played since Mustafi joined them.
Considering their record, five wins, and one draw, the fact that they have been largely undefeated since Mustafi joined them suggests that he has definitely added something to the team.
However, Mustafi’s talents seem to go beyond the pitch; apparently, the player is showing incredible leadership behind the scenes, keeping the Arsenal dressing room in check and impressing a number of notable individuals.
Former Gunners striker Alan Smith recently praised Mustafi’s performance. Smith understands Arsenal. He was with the team for nearly a decade, leaving in 1995. He was among the people who heaped praise on Mustafi in his column in the Daily Telegraph. He pointed out the player’s vocal leadership and suggested that it would prove far more valuable to Arsenal in the long run that his competitive streak and willingness to compete with strikers.
You wouldn’t expect Mustafi stand out; sure, as a player, considering his performance at Valencia, the fact that he is holding his own on the pitch isn’t much of a surprise. However, you would expect him to shrink from the limelight in the dressing room, considering his status as a new player.
However, Mustafi seems to be doing the opposite, refusing to shrink from conflict and speaking up in the dressing room whenever the need arises. The 24-year-old understands his place but he is also willing to say his piece.
And that is how Smith thinks it should be. It is important for people with strong views in a team to speak out and express their opinions. This is the only way a team can come together and successfully perform on the field.
Smith thinks that Arsenal is blessed with a bevy of players who are so forthright, willing to deliberate with Arsene Wenger whenever the need arises.
Mustafi always contributes to the debate, and his actions are encouraging other people to begin speaking up as well. This is very important for Arsenal at the present. Mertesacker has presently been sidelined, and his injuries are probably going to keep him away for a long time.
He was always a respected voice in the dressing room. Mustafi could step into his shoes. He and Granit Xhaka have proven time and time again that they are natural leaders. Mustafi’s fans will be happy to know that he is more than living up to the large sums of money that were paid to bring him onboard.
The days are still early, but all the signs point towards Mustafi meeting Wenger’s expectations.