Although, the transfer activity of Wenger in the summer met the expectations of fans, but the signing of Shkodran Mustafi was long drawn and not without dramas.
Arsene Wenger has revealed at Arsenal’s AGM yesterday that he had agreed terms with Mustafi and his agent – but it was Valencia that dragged the deal to close of the window.
Arsenal played in the States at the end of July/start of August so when we spoke to Mustafi on 2 August, an agreement was already in place to sign the player.
Wenger quotes in full from the AGM in regards to Mustafi
“Why did I not buy a centre-half before the start of the season? Mertesacker was injured very early.
“I don’t agree that Mertesacker is not good enough and Gabriel was injured before the season and is experienced and (Rob) Holding has also done well.
“We started negotiating [for Mustafi], we met with Ivan Gazidis in the States with the agent of Mustafi and agreed the deal but it took long to get over the line as Valencia were reluctant to sell.
“We also took longer because in pre-season he was injured and he couldn’t have played against Liverpool
on the opening day).
“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.
“With centre-backs, if you look at the investments made all over the country it is a difficult subject as a lot of clubs invested a a lot of money and it is difficult to find the quality to strengthen your squad.”