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Arsene Wenger has explained why the deal to bring Mustafi to the Emirates in the summer took so long to complete.
Mustafi was one of Arsenal’s early targets in the summer transfer window. Talks with Valencia started in early August but the deal wasn’t completed until the penultimate day of the transfer window.
Wenger took a lot of stick for the delay but he has now explained why it was difficult to complete the deal.
“We started negotiating, we met with Ivan Gazidis in the states the agent of Mustafi and agreed the deal but it took long to get over the line as Valencia were reluctant to sell,” Wenger said at the club’s Annual General Meeting.
“We also took longer because in pre-season he was injured and he couldn’t have played against Liverpool.
“When he came he had had just 45 minutes of competition. We needed him to push too and that is sometimes a slow process as it is not only us that can decide whether he signs.”
Mustafi has gone on to establish himself as one of our best players in recent weeks. The German has adapted quickly, forming a solid partnership with Koscielny, despite his late arrival. We were almost forced to move for alternative targets then but Mustafi’s performances has shown that it was worth the wait. He has helped up keep cleansheets in our last four games which was a rare thing in previous seasons.