Arsenal boss Unai Emery is seemingly ready to give Shkodran Mustafi another shot this season despite encouraging him to move on this past summer.
As noted by The Guardian, the Gunners coach urged both Mustafi and Mohamed Elneny to leave before the deadline as they were set for limited roles at the Emirates this season.
Elneny heeded that advice and sealed a loan move to Besiktas for the rest of the campaign, but Mustafi stayed put and remains in north London.
On one hand, it’s commendable that he perhaps still has that motivation to prove his worth and break into the side in the coming weeks and months.
However, with David Luiz, Sokratis and Rob Holding to come back and sit ahead of him in the pecking order in central defence, it remains to be seen just how involved he is this season.
Nevertheless, Emery has seemingly now changed his stance and has revealed that the German international still has a future at the Emirates and that his defensive ace has responded with the right attitude since the transfer window closed, which is a crucial element in terms of securing a long-term future at the club.
“Mustafi decided to be here and when he did, for me, he is another player like the others in the team,” he told Sky Sports. “Of course I respect his decision and, when he decided, I spoke with him and said ‘for me you are in the squad and I am going to work with you as with the other players’.
“I don’t know all exactly what was in his decision (to stay) but, when we spoke and he decided to be here, it was a start with him as another player in the squad.
“He is working every day with a big motivation and good experience. That is what we want, training with good experience, helping and, after, giving us his performance.”
Time will tell just how involved the 27-year-old will be for the Gunners this season, but with multiple fronts to compete on, Emery may well need the depth and cover that he offers moving forward as they look to challenge domestically and go for the Europa League again this season.