Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi has insisted that he will not make life difficult for the club over his future after being linked with an exit over the summer.
As noted by the Guardian, Gunners boss Unai Emery had advised the German international to search for an exit in the last transfer window given the likelihood that he would struggle for playing time.
However, the Spanish tactician appeared to perform a U-turn on that stance last weekend, as per Sky Sports, as he suggested that Mustafi still has a future at the Emirates.
Minutes have been hard to come by for the 27-year-old so far this season, with summer signing David Luiz surpassing him in the pecking order, albeit Arsenal’s defensive record hasn’t improved as their current group of centre-halves appear to be just as vulnerable as each other.
However, Mustafi did play a full 90 minutes in the 3-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League on Thursday night, and so perhaps he’ll hope to build on that and stake his claim for a permanent spot in the line-up again moving forward.
Importantly though, he has vowed that he will not make life difficult at Arsenal with regards to his future, showing a classy level of professionalism to suggest that he’ll move on if the right opportunity presents itself but as far as what he has discussed with Emery, he still has a part to play this season.
“My father, who is my agent, spoke to the club,” he said, as quoted by the Evening Standard. “I am an Arsenal player and I’ve still got two years [left on my] contract.
“I’ve never been someone who begins a war when something doesn‘t work out. I always said: If it is possible, I am open to take the next step. If not, I keep playing my football.
“The manager said he sees me the same way he sees every player in the team. That‘s why I played today and that‘s it. We going to see what the future holds.”
Time will tell how the situation plays out this season, but with Rob Holding closing in on a full return from injury too, competition for places will be fierce at Arsenal and so Mustafi has a battle on his hands to secure a long-term future in north London.