Five things Arsenal fans need to know about Shkodran Mustafi

After weeks of speculation, it looks like Arsenal are finally set to land a defender.

The move comes in good time too, with injuries to both Gabriel and Per Mertesacker putting the pair out for a combined six months, leaving The Gunners extremely short at the back with the new Premier League season just days away.

Whilst the deal is yet to be confirmed, the completion of the deal is simply a formality; all parties are interested in the deal and want it wrapped up as quickly as possible.

Shkodran Mustafi isn’t a house hold name in England, but after this season – we definitely think he will be

Here are FIVE things Arsenal fans need to know about Shkodran Mustafi

History

Mustafi

Shkodran Mustafi was born in Germany to Albanian parents, drawing parallels with Granit Xhaka, whom chose to represent Switzerland through birthplace.

He began his career at youth side Hamburger SV, and after playing for several clubs during his younger years, he settled in Valencia in 2014, where he remains today.

At 24 years old, Mustafi is experienced, but still has years of development and learning ahead of him, making Arsenal the perfect home for the young German defender.

Parallels with Koscielny

Koscielny

In terms of Mustafi’s playing style, you can draw a number of parallels in his game with Laurent Koscielny.

Both defenders are not overly physical, often relying on pace and technical ability to see them through; and they are both very successful in that vein.

Don’t think that Mustafi is one to mess around at the back though – that is definitely not the case. He isn’t afraid to get involved in a crunching tackle or smash the ball into row z; he is fantastic at reading the game and deciding which approach to take.

Reliable and steely at the back; he is exactly what Arsenal need.

English Experience

Mustafi

This is a fact that many have forgotten, and whilst it may seem insignificant – it could prove helpful to the young German.

During his developmental days, between 2009 and 2012 to be exact, Mustafi played his football for English outfit Everton.

He failed to get a single first team league appearance for the club, but those three years in England could prove invaluable to the defender.

Adaption to a new country can be one of the hardest parts of a big money transfer, and hopefully Mustafi should find it easier to adjust to a country that he is already somewhat familiar with.

Aerial Prowess

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At 6ft tall, Mustafi will provide some real aerial solidity at the heart of the Arsenal defence.

You may remember his goal at Euro 2016 which was, unsurprisingly, a header, which he added to an impressive number of headed goals that he scored in La Liga last season.

This is a trait that will be particularly important in the absence of Per Mertesacker, whom is normally Arsenal’s biggest threat from set pieces, making Mustafi a perfect replacement.

This aerial strength will prove invaluable at the back too, offering a key defensive option from long balls and set pieces.

World Cup Winner

Football Soccer - Germany v France - EURO 2016 - Semi Final - Stade Velodrome, Marseille, France - 7/7/16 Germany's Shkodran Mustafi reacts REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach Livepic

Perhaps the part of his game that Mustafi would most want you to know, the young defender is a world cup winner!

He replaced Marco Rues in the 2014 competition, which was a shock to many, after the attacker was ruled out of the competition with an injury.

Mustafi wasn’t just a passenger during the competition either, amassing three appearances and playing a relatively important role en-route to the title in Brazil in 2014.

This will add some key trophy winning experience to a team that has largely failed to win anything of note in recent years.