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Arsenal summer signing Shkodran Mustafi has revealed why he has hit the ground running at Arsenal after completing his £35m move in August.
The 24-year-old has impressed many with his performances since he moved to North London. There were doubts over how he would adapt to life at Arsenal having failed to impress in his first stint in the Premier League with Everton.
The defender spent four years at Goodison Park between 2009 and 2012 but failed to make a single league appearance for the Toffees. He has now revealed that his disastrous spell at Everton prepared him for the physicality of the Premier League.
He said, as quoted by The Daily Star: “It made me grow up. From a boy I became a man.
“I am only 24 but already I have played in Italy, Germany, Spain and England. I’ve tried to really take some of the style of the different countries.
“Right now, I would say I am an aggressive player. I go into everything and that’s what I learned in England. But I’m also quite tactical, I tried to read the game.
“When I came to England I was quite young. I was 17 and that’s not easy when you come to a different country with a different language, culture and style in football.
“The main thing was I grew up. The way you play football here, the way you don’t have excuses for things made me grow up.”
Mustafi’s performances have taken many by surprise, even Wenger recently claimed the defender is doing better than he expected.
There was obviously shortage of quality centre-backs in the summer transfer market and the capture of Mustafi’s shows Wenger did a great job.
At 24 , Mustafi will only continue to improve and the huge fee paid for him could end up being a bargain in the long run.