Tuttomercatoweb are reporting that AS Roma are interesting in taking Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi to the Stadio Olimpico on loan with an option to buy. Whilst the 27-year-old is a regular target for Gunners fans’ frustrations, he may not be as bad as they believe.
It is being reported that the Giallorossi want to take the centre-back on loan with a view to a purchase next summer.
Roma will apparently pay between €20m (£18.3m) and €25m (£22.9m) for Mustafi if they buy him, and it is understood he will earn €3m (£2.7m) a season should he join full-time.
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The former Germany international has become an easy target for fans of the north London club, with many slamming his defensive abilities and recently wishing for his departure. But the fact of the matter is, he could be a great addition to a foreign suitor this summer.
He was signed from Valencia, where he spent two seasons, in 2016 and regularly impressed for the Spanish outfit. He registered WhoScored ratings of 7.23 and 7.33 in the top tier in those two campaigns, which put him in the top 30 players in the division both years. He also did well at Sampdoria before that, with his performances in Italy earning him a place in Germany’s 2014 World Cup-winning squad.
Therefore, he has the pedigree. After all, there must be a reason why Arsenal signed him in the first place. He has not hit the same heights at the Emirates Stadium, but there are reasons for that.
The Gunners have been poor defensively as a whole, lacking disciplined full-backs and quality defensive midfielders, and he has been paired with a number of different options at centre-back – ranging from Per Mertesacker to Laurent Koscielny.
Throw in the change in management and the fluctuations between back fours and back threes over the last two seasons, and there has been an inevitable lack of confidence and stability in defence during Mustafi’s time with the Gunners. That wobbly foundation has stopped him from excelling.
A move to Italy, a country with which he is already familiar, could do him the world of good. And if he gets back to his best, he will silence those Arsenal critics from the last few seasons.