Arteta pays tribute as Arsenal defender completes Schalke switch

Date published: Monday 1st February 2021 10:19 - Samuel Bannister

Shkodran Mustafi has left Arsenal to join Schalke in his native Germany after four-and-a-half years in London.

Mustafi was in the final six months of his contract at the Emirates Stadium. He had not started a Premier League game all season.

With Schalke allowing Ozan Kabak to leave for Liverpool, the Bundesliga side needed a replacement. Mustafi was an available solution.

Now, both transfers have been finalised. Reports indicate Mustafi has cancelled his contract with Arsenal to facilitate the move, but Schalke do not disclose the details.

Mustafi leaves Arsenal having made 102 appearances in the Premier League after joining them from Valencia in 2016. He made a further 49 appearances in other competitions.

The 2014 World Cup winner never quite lived up to expectations at the Emirates Stadium and has now called time on his adventure in the capital.

He moves to his homeland, where he has never played at club level before.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta told the club website: “Musti has been a key player for us for a long period of time.

“He played a very important part in my first season as manager and I’d like to thank him for his professionalism and for always being ready when called upon. Everybody at Arsenal wishes Musti well at Schalke.”

Technical director Edu also paid tribute to the departing defender, saying: “We thank Musti for his contribution at Arsenal which has spanned four-and-a-half years, more than 150 appearances and a prominent role in two FA Cup wins.

“Everyone associated with the club wishes Musti and his family the very best wishes for the next chapter in his career.”


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Schalke satisfied with Kabak replacement

While Schalke are losing one of their best players in Kabak, they are pleased with both deals.

Jochen Schneider, their Head of Sport and Communication, said: “You have to look at this transfer from two perspectives. Ozan Kabak leaving Schalke 04 makes a lot of sense financially, especially due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

“On top of that, we believe that we’ve signed a very good centre-back in Shkodran Mustafi, who will fill the gap that Ozan will definitely leave.”

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