Unai Emery appears to have opened the door for Shkodran Mustafi to leave Arsenal after admitting he’s discussed a summer exit with the defender.
Since completing a €41m transfer from Valencia in 2016, Mustafi has been the subject of regular criticism from Arsenal supporters because of his error-prone displays.
They, in fact, even booed the German World Cup-winner during a 2-1 friendly defeat to Lyon at the Emirates Stadium last month.
And Mustafi’s future is in serious doubt following Arsenal’s shock deadline-day £8m capture of David Luiz from Chelsea. Furthermore, Calum Chambers has returned having spent last season on loan at Fulham.
Competition for places in the heart of the Arsenal defence will, therefore, have grown. Not helping matters for Mustafi either is the fact that Sokratis Papastathopoulos is ahead of him in the pecking order.
The 27-year-old has since become of interest to clubs in France and Germany. However, Arsenal haven’t received any offers yet with the European transfer window open until September 2.
“I spoke with him [Mustafi] when we finished last season, I spoke with him when we started pre-season and I spoke with him also two weeks ago saying maybe there was the possibility he can leave,” said Emery, according to talkSPORT.
“But I don’t have doubts if he needs to play because he is a good player.
“We decided to be more competitive in each position, at centre-back with David Luiz, with another player in the middle with [Dani] Ceballos, with Kieran Tierney, with [Nicolas] Pepe.
“I think being more competitive [means] we can respond better in the season.
“Some players, maybe they can play less with that situation and can leave.
“But it’s one decision taken with the player, with the club, with the team. At the moment [Mustafi] is here and really, if we need, he plays with us. I have confidence he will do well.”
Mustafi will hope to impress Emery in Arsenal’s Premier League opener at Newcastle United on Sunday. Kick-off will begin at 15:00 (CET).