This article forms part of our Total Duds feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how bad a deal the club got.
When Arsenal bought Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia for £36.9 million back in 2016, a lot of Gooners would have hoped that he would solve their problems in central defence. Instead, the 28-year old has arguably made them worse.
Indeed, with the hefty figure paid for a defender, which was perhaps unusual under Arsene Wenger’s reign, fans would have and perhaps should have expected more from Mustafi. The German international was 24 years of age at the time of signing, so he had plenty of time to grow into a quality centre-back. He had also been part of the Germany squad that won the World Cup back in 2014.
However, it seems as if he has gone backwards. His market value started to dip from £27 million in June 2017 down eventually to £22.5 million in May 2018. Mustafi made 38 appearances in all competitions in the 2017/18 season, the year where the Gunners finished in sixth, their lowest position in the recent Premier League era. They conceded 51 goals in the top flight that campaign, with Mustafi playing in 27 of those games.
Nevertheless, his market value rose back up to a peak £27 million in December 2018, but it must be noted that the number is still lower than the £36.9 million paid. Once again, the value started to drop from that point, down to a record-low £10.8 million at the north London club earlier this month.
In that time, Mustafi has been criticised heavily, including by Arsenal legend Emmanuel Petit, who called him ‘the king of blunders’ after he conceded a penalty in the 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur last year. It was an error that ultimately cost the Gunners three points against their bitter rivals.
That wasn’t the last time he has made a defensive blunder either and the mistakes have continued into the current campaign. Notably, against Chelsea back in January he made a mess of a back pass towards Bernd Leno which ultimately led to a penalty being given to the Blues which was converted by Jorginho (The Times).
Spending £36.9 million on any player, let alone a defender, is a risk for any side, and judging by his career at AFC so far, Mustafi has not justified his tag.
Gooners, how do you reflect on Mustafi’s time at the club? Comment below!
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience