Arsenal will open their English Premier League (EPL) campaign of the new season against Liverpool this Sunday. However, the Gunners are suffering a center-back crisis. If reports are to be believed then Valencia’s defender Skhodran Mustafi is all set to make his way to the Emirates stadium this summer.
The London club has reportedly made a breakthrough in the negotiation process and Mustafi has agreed a move to play under manager Arsene Wenger for the new season. The transfer fee is believed to be in the region of $26 million, as reported by Sky Sports.
— Marc Behrenbeck (@Sky_Marc) August 11, 2016
However, will Mustafi be available for Arsenal’s EPL opener against Liverpool? The answer is no as Wenger has revealed that there will be no new center-back in place for the match against the Reds on Sunday.
“We are short on experience front and this, center-back, is a position where experience plays an important part. Of course we will look to add, we are working on it, but until Sunday I have to find an internal solution and an efficient solution.” Wenger said to TalkSport.
The three main stalwarts of the Gunners defense, Gabriel Paulista, Per Mertersacker and Laurent Koscielny would be unavailable for the season opener. While Paulista and Mertersacker are sidelined due to injuries, Koscielny is yet to reach full-fitness following an extended leave after playing in the final of UEFA Euro 2016 for France.
Arsenal would be acquiring a brilliant defender in the form of Mustafi, who according to WhoScored.com has made more interceptions (226) than any other La Liga player in the last couple of seasons.
Shkodran Mustafi: Has made more interceptions (226) than any other player in the last 2 La Liga last seasons pic.twitter.com/k1Zmf001Tz
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) August 11, 2016
The player will be an instant upgrade over the current Arsenal defenders and will leave Arsene Wenger with only a good striker to sign this summer.
Photo courtesy: Вячеслав Евдокимов/Wikipedia