Arsene Wenger has explained why Arsenal found it difficult to sign Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia in the summer.
Mustafi moved to the Gunners for a fee of over £30million after weeks of protracted negotiations with La Liga club Valencia.
The 24-year-old joined on August 30, by which point the club had already played three games of the Premier League season.
Wenger was criticised at the time for not acting sooner and purchasing the German beforehand, but the manager has explained why the difficult was so difficult to complete at all.
“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,” he 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.”