Valencia CF (@valenciacf) August 6, 2014
Saying Shkodran Mustafi has had a good year would be an understatement - the last 12 months have been something of a whirlwind journey for the young centre-back.
After joining David Moyes’ Everton from Hamburg as a promising 17-year-old in 2009, the German would make only one competitive appearance - in December of the same year - for the Toffees.
The future ill-fated Manchester United manager would allow him to leave for Sampdoria on a free transfer in the summer of 2012, seeing no prospects for Mustafi in England.
But Mustafi would follow up a steady debut 2012-13 campaign in Serie A with a rock solid season last time out, winning plaudits from across the peninsula for his strong performances.
To top it off, the 22-year-old booked himself a spot on the plane to Brazil for the World Cup with Germany in the process. Three appearances in South America on Die Mannschaft’s dominating run to the final later, Mustafi became a world champion at a tender age.
Whilst he was once unwanted by Moyes, the Bad Hersfeld native’s newfound success at the club and international level made him a hot commodity.
And Valencia have acted accordingly by splashing out a reported €10 million to bring him to Mestalla from Marassi for the upcoming term.
Mustafi’s stock has risen at a meteoric rate of late, and one can only wonder what may be on the docket next for a player that has come into his own so quickly after hitting a wall at Everton.
Valencia will be expected to fight for Champions League football with Peter Lim’s financial backing now behind the club and qualification would mark another milestone for Mustafi.
The German will be keen to keep his remarkable run of late going, continuing to fulfill the promise that saw him move to England five years ago - even if things didn’t quite work out in the Premier League during his teenage years.
Can Mustafi go on to be a top centre-back in his career?