Shkodran Mustafi is one of Arsenal's more frustrating players, to say the least. The German defender seems to have two modes; he can either put in an excellent defensive performance or an absolute howler - not really the level of consistency expected from a £35m player.
His most recent clanger came against Southampton in the Gunners' last league game. Mustafi had clearly forgotten that the game had started and was far too slow to react to a cross which set up Shane Long's opener.
For a number of Arsenal fans on Twitter, this mistake was the final straw. As the Gunners prepare for their quarter final second leg against CSKA Moscow in the Europa League, a fair few fans want to see the Germany international dropped from the starting lineup.
Since Pierre is in this pic & cant play, please tell me Mustafi aint playing as well. Im sure Chambers is up for it!— ҒLΨΠΠ (@drinks_too_much) April 11, 2018
Please leave Mustafi in London— NASA (@nathanzimba18) April 11, 2018
Leave Mustafi at Colney— Tim 🇿🇦 (@T_VonDoom) April 11, 2018
The most infuriating thing about Mustafi is that it is clear that he is a quality defender. He was one of Arsenal's strongest performers against Stoke City where the Gunners otherwise looked quite shaky defensively. He also had strong showings in the last round of the Europa League against AC Milan.
But after nearly completing his second season at the club, you would expect Mustafi to have settled by now and not to be switching off in the way he did against the Saints.
2 season at the club and Mustafi still doesn’t look like a defender bar few games here and there. Also deservedly lost his German place, need to be binned in the summer I think.— Osman (@OsmanZtheGooner) April 8, 2018
Mustafi can be the most frustrating player. He’s capable of being very dependable but he’s also capable of being a liability with rash challenges and poor decision-making. Imagine we had a defensive coach, an ex-player perhaps. Oh!— FK ☕️ (@fkhanage) April 8, 2018
After resting a number of key players last weekend, Arsenal will be expected to to field their strongest starting lineup for their crucial trip to Russia.
The Gunners hold a 4-1 lead from the first leg and have one foot already in the semi finals. Mustafi will very likely start on Thursday night, and could prove his doubters wrong.