Arsenal always needed to find a way of clearing out the deadwood this month, but that was always going to be difficult when so many clubs are having financial issues.
It would’ve been a stretch to expect any big offers to come in for the players that had been left out for most of the season, but even getting the bulk of their wages off the books would give them more flexibility in the transfer market.
Admittedly that might reduce them to free transfers and loan deals over the next few months as Mikel Arteta looks to add to his squad, but it will definitely help them out in the long run.
Mesut Ozil and Greek defender Sokratis have already left this month after coming to an agreement to end their contracts, and it now looks like German international Shkodran Mustafi could be next:
Shkodran Mustafi is in talks with Arsenal to terminate his contract early (similar agreement to Ozil & Sokratis).
28-year-old defender hasn’t played since Boxing Day and his reps are trying to secure a January move for him.https://t.co/F4bx49hy3j
— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) January 25, 2021
This can’t come as a surprise when you consider that Arsenal are stocked with options at the back and Mustafi is miles down the pecking order, so it’s not benefitting anyone by keeping him around.
Mikel Arteta could actually do with some cover at left back after the departure of Kolasinac so if they can find a way to release Mustafi and use his wage on someone to back up Kieran Tierney then the squad will be in better shape.
Mustafi arrived in 2016 from Valencia and he actually looked like an impressive signing at the time, but he does have issues with making mistakes and his use of the ball isn’t brilliant, so he was slowly edged out of the side by other options.
He’s only 28 and he’s an experienced German international so you would think he’ll have plenty of offers once the release is confirmed, so it does look like the correct move for all parties.