Jamie Redknapp believes the absence of Shkodran Mustafi has been the reason why the Gunners have lost back-to-back matches in the Premier League, with the German currently sidelined through injury.
Still yet to lose in an Arsenal shirt, Mustafi has been on the sidelines for the Gunners’ two defeats in the past week against Everton and Manchester City, where their defence has looked lacklustre and extremely easy to break down.
Taking the lead in both matches but falling apart in the second-half to lose, it’s telling that Arsenal’s four defeats in all competitions this season have come when the German international has not been in the heart of the defence.
“In the space of seven days, Arsenal have gone from second place and three points behind Chelsea to fourth and just a point clear of Tottenham in fifth.”
“Arsenal do miss Shkodran Mustafi – there is a little more panic at the back when he has not played – but they cannot use that as an excuse. Twice in successive matches they have thrown away leads and, if they are to win the title, they need to be able to see games out.”
Arsenal will hope that Mustafi can return before the end of the year but it’s unlikely the German will feature in the Boxing Day clash with West Brom, though there is more chance of him returning for the hosting of Crystal Palace on New Year’s Day.