Wenger admits 'Mustafi not scared to take a challenge on'

The Arsenal boss believes his latest defensive signing has what it takes to succeed in the Premier League.

Wenger admits 'Mustafi not scared to take a challenge on'
Photo: Sky Sports

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes that new defensive signing Shkodran Mustafi will be a success because he is ‘not scared to take a challenge on’.

The 24-year-old German finally joined the gunners from Valencia for a fee in excess of £35m on Monday after weeks of rumours, and the boss believes he has the experience to succeed.

Speaking to Arsenal Player, Wenger said that because Mustafi decided to join Arsenal ‘shows he was certainly conscious of what was expected of him’, and therefor ‘he is not scared to take on a challenge on’.

Well travelled 

Wenger also spoke about how the club ‘needed a centre back because of long term injuries’, and that because Mustafi has already played in Italy with Sampdoria, Spain with Los Che and in numerous internationals for Germany, he will be well suited for the Premier League.

As well as his wealth of experience already gained despite his relatively young age, Wenger also said that the German defender ‘is a very intelligent boy’, and that was important in his decision to bring him to the club.

Before his time in Italy and Spain, Mustafi spent time at Everton, making just one competitive appearance for the Toffees. Photo: metro.co.uk
Before his time in Italy and Spain, Mustafi was at Everton, making just one competitive appearance for the Toffees. Photo: metro.co.uk

During his first interview as an Arsenal player, Mustafi said he feels he’s taken a step forward in his career making this move, and that he feels it will help him grow as a player. 

Healthy Competition

The arrival of Mustafi means that Arsenal are now well equipped in central defence, with 20-year-old Rob Holding also joining from Bolton Wanders during the early part of the transfer window.

Because of this Wenger believes his team now has a good mix of youth and experience. He mentions age-wise that Callum Chambers, who has moved to Middlesborough on a season long loan, is in his early twenties just behind Mustafi, followed Gabriel who is 27-years-old and the two more experience campaigners of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker. 

Despite an injury scare during Germany’s 2-0 victory over Finland on Wednesday, Mustafi is in contention to make his debut against Southampton at Emirates Stadium on 10 September, the first game after the international break.