Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta appears to have been dealt a blow in the past few months with Football London recently reporting that Shkodran Mustafi rejected a new contract over the summer.
Mustafi has endured a turbulent time at the Emirates. However, the Gunners were seemingly keen to keep him beyond the end of the season with a new deal reportedly being offered to the 28-year-old.
But the German has seemingly decided that he wants to continue his career elsewhere. According to Football London, he has informed the club that he plans to leave the Emirates next summer.
As noted by Football London, he cost £35 million when he arrived. So you could understand why some at Arsenal may be left frustrated about the prospect of losing him for nothing.
And of course, the contract offer suggests Arteta was keen to keep him.
But it could certainly be argued that losing Mustafi could actually prove to be a blessing in disguise for the Gunners.
Admittedly, he is one of the players who has arguably improved under Arteta. He had previously been written off, particularly during the latter stages of Unai Emery’s tenure.
There have been some incredibly promising performances since Arteta’s appointment. But there have still been some mistakes along the way.
Will Arsenal ever be able to put full trust in Mustafi?
The problem with that inconsistency is that it becomes extremely difficult to really put your full trust in Mustafi. He can produce a colossal performance. But just when he appears to have turned a corner, he may drop a clanger that takes him back to square one.
Arsenal have some incredibly bright young players in and around the first-team. Losing Mustafi may allow the likes of Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba to take more prominent roles sooner.
And according to Spotrac, Mustafi earns £90,000-a-week. Offloading those wages could hand Arteta’s transfer kitty a major boost.
Arsenal know how risky it can be to hand out new contracts to players who divide opinion amongst the fans.
So while it may have seemed like a blow when Mustafi turned down a new deal in the summer, perhaps it may be Arsenal who ultimately benefit most from his decision.