German defender Shkodran Mustafi has completed a transfer to Bundesliga strugglers FC Schalke from Arsenal on the transfer deadline day.
As confirmed on the official website, Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi has left the club to complete a permanent transfer to Bundesliga outfit FC Schalke 04 late on the winter transfer window deadline day.
The 28-year-old had been with Arsenal since 2016, having arrived from La Liga outfit Valencia. However, the German was never quite able to carve out a regular place in the starting XI and had earned a reputation for his propensity to make crucial errors.
Nevertheless, towards the back end of last season, Mustafi showed quite a bit of improvement under Mikel Arteta and played a key role in the Gunners’ FA Cup triumph. However, since the onset of the new campaign, the German had fallen out of favour under the manager.
Indeed, the likes of Rob Holding, David Luiz, Pablo Mari and new signing Gabriel Magalhaes were ahead of him in the pecking order. With his contract running out in the summer, speculations over his future had been rife over the past month, with a move to another Bundesliga club, Hertha Berlin, being mooted.
Thank you and good luck, @MustafiOfficial 👊
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) February 1, 2021
Reports at the weekend also claimed that Mustafi could end up sealing a shock transfer to Premier League champions Liverpool. However, the 28-year-old centre-back has ended up securing a return to Germany, where he will play for Schalke and try to help their battle for survival in the Bundesliga.
“Musti has been a key player for us for a long period of time. He played a very important part in my first season as manager and I’d like to thank him for his professionalism and for always being ready when called upon. Everybody at Arsenal wishes Musti well at Schalke,” Arteta said upon the confirmation of Mustafi’s departure.
Mustafi becomes the second player to leave Arsenal for Schalke since the turn of the year. The 20-time capped German international follows in the footsteps of fellow defender Sead Kolasinac, who had made the move to Gelsenkirchen at the onset of the January transfer window.
Mustafi leaves Arsenal after making 151 appearances, in which he scored nine goals. The 28-year-old won two FA Cups during his time at the Emirates. He joins Schalke as a replacement for Ozan Kabak, who completed a deadline day move to Liverpool on loan, with an option to make the transfer permanent.