Shkodran Mustafi’s excellent start to life at Arsenal
Since joining from Valencia in the summer, Shkodran Mustafi has seamlessly moved into the Arsenal central defence alongside Laurent Koscielny.
After some fine defensive performances in recent games, Mustafi already looks like a key player and has been part of the Arsenal defence that has keep three successive clean sheets.
Mustafi was also one of the stand out players, alongside Koscielny, when Arsenal shutout Chelsea and the in-form Diego Costa Saturday week ago.
Mustafi on rejecting Bayern Munich as a kid
The 24-year-old describes how he preferred to join Hamburg as a youngster, as opposed to German giants Bayern Munich.
Mustafi: “I had trials at Hamburg, Eintracht Frankfurt, Werder Bremen and even Bayern. My father asked me where I fitted best. I chose HSV. “
On his summer move to Arsenal, the German defender says: “I wanted Arsenal, everything else I left to be negotiated between the clubs. Of course, this is an incredible sum (41 million euros). And I know what a burden that can bring. Some people live on 200 to 300 euros per month. Especially in my second home in Gostivar (Republic of Macedonia). But I could not influence this. So I push it far away out of my head.”
The Arsenal central defender also talks about playing for the German national team, since Mustafi could have played for Macedonia or Albania.
Mustafi: “I was born in Bad Hersfeld. Germany is my home, my parents and my siblings live in Bebra, where I grew up. When the DFB then invited me as a teenager to the first courses, I did not think twice. From the Under-15s I have gone through all the German representative teams.”
Mustafi on Islam
Finally, Mustafi also opens up to Bild about his faith which the Arsenal defender says is “very, very important.”
Mustafi: “I try to make my life as religious as possible. But for example, in the Champions League with the travel and the dates it is not so easy to pray five times a day.”
He adds: “A trip to Mecca is definitely a goal of mine. Every Muslim should do this once in their life.”