Unai Emery does not see a future for Shkodran Mustafi and Mohamed Elneny, with Arsenal reportedly willing to listen to offers for the duo.
Arsenal had an impressive summer transfer window that saw them spend lavishly. While there will be no further arrivals, there sure might be those leaving who are deemed surplus to requirements. According to London Evening Standard, Arsenal are willing to listen to offers for unwanted duo Shkodran Mustafi and Mohamed Elney before the European deadline.
Their ‘for sale’ status might not come as a surprise for Arsenal fans, as both are understood to be out of Unai Emery’s plans for the coming season. Mustafi, in particular, has been criticised for his error-prone displays which cost Arsenal many points during last term. He also got judged for his somewhat poor pre-season form, which has led to Emery being willing to let go of the German.
Mustafi was widely expected to leave much earlier in the summer, although it was shelved due to Arsenal’s difficult defensive situation that included Laurent Koscielny’s departure to Bordeaux. The shortage of senior defenders meant Mustafi was reluctantly kept at the club. However, the capture of David Luiz from Chelsea on deadline day seems to have changed Arsenal’s stance.
Moreover, Rob Holding’s return from a long-term injury to first-team training has boosted Emery’s hopes for the season. As things stand, Sokratis, Holding, Calum Chambers and Luiz are ahead of Mustafi in the pecking order. Emery could also turn to Konstantinos Mavropanos as a fifth choice centre-back or even Nacho Monreal, who is experienced at playing in central defence for the club.
While Monreal is a target for Real Sociedad, Arsenal seem well-stocked in defence after the capture of Luiz and Kieran Tierney from Celtic on deadline day. Before the English deadline, AS Monaco showed an interest in Mustafi, although nothing concrete has materialised since. Arsenal are waiting until August 31 for offers as they look to recoup most of the £35 million they paid in 2016.
The other player on the chopping block is Elneny, and he too is available for sale. Arsenal have plenty of options in central midfield, and Elneny’s presence is going to overstock them in that area. The arrival of Dani Ceballos on loan from Real Madrid was indication enough for Elneny to leave. Galatasaray showed an interest in him, although they have failed to agree terms with either Elneny or Arsenal.
Premier League clubs also seemed to be interested in the Egyptian earlier, but now that the English window has closed, a transfer to another country might be the only possibility. Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira, Granit Xhaka, Ceballos and now Joe Willock are ahead of Elneny in Arsenal’s midfield pecking order.
After a full outlay on incoming players, Arsenal will be hoping to balance their books with the sales of the aforementioned duo. The question remains on who might want them, especially Mustafi, considering Arsenal might demand a competitive price for the World Cup winner. As for Elneny, he might be available for a more economical amount and is likelier to leave than Mustafi.