Arsenal should offload Mustafi ASAP
Mustafi gets another portion of criticism from paininthearsenal's Andrew Dowdeswell. The 2014 World Cup winner seems unable to raise his standard to the required level.
"It was another stinking performance from Shkodran Mustafi. Playing on the right side of a back-three, meaning that he actually had extra protection from a central defender and wing-back, the German international still managed to look lost for much of Saturday’s 2-1 win over Huddersfield Town.
"Mustafi entered the match facing criticism of his recent performances, the latest of which was a rather puzzling affair versus Manchester City. He did not help dispel his doubters here.
"Although he did improve in the second half, helped by the deeper defensive line Arsenal took as Huddersfield pressed to haul back a two-goal deficit, Mustafi’s play with and without the ball was horrific for much of the match. His passing, especially, was extremely poor. His misplaced several simple balls in the first half, and then he tried to make up for his errors by forcing overly-aggressive passes into nonexistent passing lanes.
"Speaking of being too aggressive, his somewhat naive tackling again came to the fore. I would love to know the number of times he charged into the midfield to foolishly try and win the ball back, only to either see it knocked around the corner into the space that he just vacated or to steam through the back of the attacker, concede a needless freekick and immediately put him and the rest of the defence under more pressure.
"In fact, if there is a performance to define Mustafi’s time at Arsenal, this is probably it. Busy, full of action, but ultimately rather ineffective. This was Mustafi at his most infuriating best. Many believed that he should be sold this summer already. If you didn’t, then I can only fathom what you may be thinking now.
"The real infuriating element of Mustafi’s play is that the same weaknesses are present from when he first arrived: his over-eagerness to lunge into tackles; his mental lapses when marking; his inconsistencies; his thoroughly awful positional sense. Mustafi has not improved. And now, not only is he not getting better, but he is actually stopping others from developing.
"Dinos Mavropanos is currently sat on the bench while Mustafi wails around between the white lines. Calum Chambers will return from his year-long loan in the summer. Hopefully, Rob Holding, whose form was encouraging prior to rupturing his ACL, will be healthy next season. These are players that need first-team minutes. And given Mustafi’s recent form, they deserve them.
"I cannot see any point to keep Mustafi beyond this summer. I couldn’t before the Huddersfield win. I have only become more convicted in that opinion since. It is time to sell."