Arsenal may have got the signing of the summer in Germany defender Skhodran Mustafi. The German defender has so far been brilliant for the Gunners and he put in another top class performance yesterday, giving Arsenal a 5th straight win in the league.
Mustafi was signed this summer for a fee of £35million, and many initially raised eyebrows at such a high valuation. But so far Mustafi appears to be everything Arsenal have missed in defence for some time. He has the ball playing ability and intelligence of Mertesacker, but he’s quicker and despite having less height, his leap, in my opinion, makes him better in the air than Per. It’s a huge signing for Arsenal and considering most defenders take a lot of time to adapt to the Premier League, Mustafi has adjusted instantly, forming a strong bond with Laurent Koscielny at the back.
Against Burnley, whilst Mustafi didn’t have an awful lot to do throughout the game due to Burnley’s reluctance to attack, he did what he had to do very well and stayed alert when required. He made 13 clearances, 6 tackles, won 5 aerial duels and made 2 interceptions. Those stats are pretty impressive considering Arsenal dominated possession on the day. He shut out everything Burnley had in attack and his ball playing ability ensured the Gunners controlled the game from the back, helping the away side put sustained pressure on the hosts backline, which eventually resulted in Arsenal winning the game with the final kick. He made a huge 82 passes, being successful with 81.7% of them. Normally he has a higher success rate but becuase of Burnley’s defending, Mustafi was often forced to go long, in fact he attempted 8 long balls in a bid to try and break down the stubborn backline set up by Sean Dyche.
Mustafi was awarded the WhoScored Man of the Match with a match rating of 8.7.
Here’s what Twitter thought of the German’s performance.
Mustafi was a quality buy from Wenger, best signing of the summer
— T (@TJ198_) October 2, 2016
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) October 2, 2016
Absolutely love everything that Mustafi is about tbh. Great at bringing the ball out, driving forward when needed too.
— S (@attwood10) October 3, 2016
— Premier League (@premierleague) October 3, 2016
Mustafi looks a class act. Early days and all but he’s 24 and looks totally at home. An obvious leader too
— Mean Lean (@arsenalvision) October 2, 2016