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Shkodran Mustafi absence hurts short term and long

Shkodran Mustafi is officially out for the rest of the season, and Arsenal will be sad to see him unavailable now and for whatever comes next.

It wasn’t that long ago when hearing that Shkodran Mustafi would have filled most Arsenal fans with joy. But times have changed, and with Mustafi officially unavailable for the FA Cup Final due to injury, the defensive situation has changed drastically, and it’s not a good thing.

As I’ve been saying for the past few months, Mustafi has changed, and if you’re unable to see that, just go back and watch some of these recent performances. Even Leicester, where he kept Vardy contained for literally every single minute of that game, save for a single instance.

Mustafi has the ability to be a big part of this defensive future, even if that isn’t as much of a frequent role as it is now.

More than that though, the impact on the immediate is a bigger concern. Don’t forget that even when Mustafi was in the throes of struggles, he did a tremendous job stepping up in big situations.

Situations just like the one we’re facing this Saturday against Chelsea.

So many times, Mustafi pocketed top strikers—like Diego Costa—reminding us what he was capable of while frustratingly failing to live up to that level for the rest of the season. Or even ever again.

Until recently, that is. But I digress.

Plus, Rob Holding has not acclimated as well to the back three. His ball-carrying ability is not nearly as proficient as Mustafi and that is definitely a concern.

Even if you’re still of the opinion that Mustafi should be sold, this injury does not help your case. There is never enough time to build up the value of a player, and if he was able to feature in the last two matches of the season and excel, like he normally would.

That would build incredible value, as his performances lately have.

No matter how you look at it, Mustafi’s injury is not a good thing. I guess the only good thing is giving Rob Holding another couple of matches to make more of his situation. He needs to prove something too.

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Whatever the case, not having Mustafi against Chelsea is going to hurt. And if we did want to sell him, this hurts too. There’s never too much proof that Mustafi can be trusted again.

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