Emery spoke to Mustafi about Arsenal departure

By Sports Desk August 10, 2019

Unai Emery has admitted to discussing an Arsenal exit with much-maligned defender Shkodran Mustafi.

The Gunners have developed new depth at centre-back following the deadline day signing of David Luiz from Chelsea and Calum Chambers' return from a loan spell at Fulham.

Mustafi, 27, ranks behind that pair and Sokratis Papastathopoulos in the pecking order and could still be allowed to find a new club before the transfer window closes across Europe on September 2.

Signed in 2016, the Germany international has failed to impress in the Premier League and was booed by his own fans during a friendly loss to Lyon at Emirates Stadium.

"I spoke with him when we finished last season, I spoke with him when we started pre-season and I spoke with him also two weeks ago saying maybe there was the possibility he can leave," Emery said of the former Sampdoria and Valencia player.

"But I don't have doubts if he needs to play because he is a good player.

"We decided to be more competitive in each position, at centre-back with David Luiz, with another player in the middle with [Dani] Ceballos, with Kieran Tierney, with [Nicolas] Pepe.

"I think being more competitive [means] we can respond better in the season.

"Some players, maybe they can play less with that situation and can leave.

"But it's one decision taken with the player, with the club, with the team. At the moment [Mustafi] is here and really, if we need, he plays with us. I have confidence he will do well."

Mustafi's likely replacement, David Luiz, has not been without his own detractors.

The 32-year-old courted criticism for erratic performances throughout two stints at Stamford Bridge, but Emery is backing the Brazilian to be a success in north London.

"Last year he won the Europa League and he played every match in the Premier League," the Arsenal boss said

"It's very difficult to find something negative from him. There are a lot more positive things to help us."

Related items

  • Southampton goalkeeper Forster returns to Celtic on loan Southampton goalkeeper Forster returns to Celtic on loan

    Celtic have signed their former goalkeeper Fraser Forster on loan from Southampton.

    Forster played for the Glasgow giants between 2011 and 2014, initially on loan from Newcastle United, before leaving for the Saints.

    The 31-year-old initially thrived at St. Mary's but lost the gloves during the 2018-19 campaign.

    With Angus Gunn now installed as Southampton's number one, Forster has been allowed to rejoin Celtic on a season-long loan.

    The goalkeeper, who has six England caps, will wear the number 67 during his time back at Celtic Park.

    "I'm absolutely delighted to be here, it feels like I'm coming home and I'm buzzing to be back at this great club," Forster told Celtic's official website.

    "Obviously, I know what the number 67 means to this great club. It’s an honour to wear the shirt and an even bigger honour to wear this number.

    "I loved my time here before and I felt like it was the right number for me, I'm really proud to wear it, and I want to do my absolute best for this club.

    "The gaffer [Neil Lennon] has always been brilliant with me, and when the opportunity came up to come back and work with him again, it was one that was too good to turn down."

  • Oxlade-Chamberlain: It's like Champions League triumph didn't happen for Liverpool Oxlade-Chamberlain: It's like Champions League triumph didn't happen for Liverpool

    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain says it is like Liverpool's Champions League success did not happen as the team are so hungry for more trophies.

    Jurgen Klopp's side triumphed against Premier League rivals Tottenham to be crowned kings of Europe for the sixth time in the club's glittering history.

    Oxlade-Chamberlain missed the vast majority of the 2018-19 season due to a serious knee injury but he signed a new long-term deal, reported to run to 2023, on Thursday.

    The England midfielder feels the desire for further silverware is fuelling Liverpool, who have won their opening two Premier League fixtures as well as clinching UEFA Super Cup glory against Chelsea.

    "I think it is obvious to see the team is progressing. Even when we're not playing well, we still manage to grind out results and that's a really positive thing," Oxlade-Chamberlain told Liverpool's official website.

    "In times when we are playing well, it sort of speaks for itself, we thrive and we have the ability to steamroll teams. From the outside, it would look like a really good time to sign – and I can speak even more from the inside about how good the group of lads is.

    "It is a really, really good group of players, not only talent but characters and how much everyone respects each other. The manager and the coaches, the backroom staff, they're all a massive part of it. The whole set-up, the structure, is perfect at the moment.

    "Last year was the first sign of that going in the right direction with the Champions League. Now, in a weird way, it is almost like it didn't happen, but I think that's credit to everyone around the building – everyone is hungry for the next thing and what's next.

    "That's the right attitude to have to go on and be more successful and go on to win more things. That's the plan, hopefully we can follow it through and win some more things."

    Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is similarly thrilled to have Oxlade-Chamberlain commit his future to Anfield.

    "When I heard Ox had signed his new contract with us, I am sure my emotions were the same as every Liverpool fan hearing the news tonight – absolutely delighted," Klopp said.

    "This is because an absolutely outstanding player and person has shown his belief and commitment to our project here and it's a deal I think makes sense on both sides.

    "I think Ox has said himself it feels to him like he has been here a lot longer than he actually has and that is something I would agree with. I think that's down to his personality around the place here at Melwood.

    "I have said in the past, one of the best things about him is what an outstanding human being he is, one of the nicest guys you will meet. Of course, he is also an outstandingly talented footballer, too."

  • Martial and Rashford driving each other on for Man United Martial and Rashford driving each other on for Man United

    Anthony Martial believes his training ground scoring competitions with Marcus Rashford are helping to give Manchester United an extra edge this season.

    Romelu Lukaku's departure to Inter has placed an extra onus upon Rashford and Martial, who have two goals apiece in the Premier League after United's opening games against Chelsea and Wolves.

    Martial has regained the club's number nine shirt and is revelling as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's attacking spearhead, with Rashford operating to the left of the France international and linking pleasingly.

    "At training, we have this competition between us about scoring goals," Martial told Sky Sports. "We measure who does the best finishing and who scores the most.

    "Who's winning? Well, that depends... Sometimes it's him, sometimes it's me. In games, Marcus likes to play in the middle, like me. I don't mind dropping off, dropping out, we interchange during games.

    "It doesn't bother me to let him take the lead occasionally. It helps us to terrorise opposition defences and I hope we can keep it up over the course of the season."

    Martial joined the ranks of players expressing solidarity with Paul Pogba, after his countryman was subjected to online racist abuse in the aftermath of his penalty miss in the 1-1 draw at Molineux.

    "It's something you can't really eradicate from society," he said. "Out there on the pitch, we can't do anything about it per se.

    "As players, we are there among white people, black people, people of all colours.

    "The French expression is 'we're all the same'. Bans should be brought about for people who give out this hatred.

    "People go to football stadiums to have a good time and enjoy the game, and there's no place for it. I'm in favour of the love, not the hate."

    United are set to meet representatives from Twitter over the coming weeks to discuss possible solutions with regards to players being abused on the social media site.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.