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Arsene Wenger has revealed that Shkodran Mustafi has taken him by surprise since he joined Arsenal.
The Germany international joined the club in the final days of the transfer window and has been impressive so far.
Wenger has now admitted the player has performed better than he expected.
The defender has shown his quality on the pitch but the boss has also been impressed with his leadership skills. Despite struggling in his first stint in the Premier League, the defender has adapted well this time around and has immediately developed a strong partnership with Koscielny in the heart of the defense.
“Koscielny is the leader because he is captain but Mustafi looks like he is taking leadership as well at the back,” the Arsenal manager said.
“What is surprising is how quickly he has integrated into the team at the back and how quickly they have formed a pair that works well together.
“Mustafi is a player who is highly focused. On that front he is a typical German. He wants to do the job well every day and he speaks his mind. He is vocal in the dressing room.
“He is not a quiet guy who hides. He speaks out with his opinion and communicates a lot. Even when you isolate the pictures of the game and look at that he speaks a lot during the game.
“He has the potential [to be a great defender for Arsenal], which is interesting at the moment. It it is a bit too early to say, you have to be cautious when a guy has played only three or four games.
“What makes me positive is he is focused, has the desire to do well, and is 24 years old. So for a central defender that is quite young.
Arsenal spent £35m to bring the defender to the Emirates. Prior to his arrival, reports claimed he might stay at Valencia as Wenger didn’t want to pay high for the defender. Taking his current performances and age into consideration, Wenger will thank his lucky stars that he didn’t miss out on the German.
Mustafi has helped Arsenal keep three clean sheets in its last three games.
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