With the Daily Mirror reporting that Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker is set to miss the club's pre-season tour of America with a knee injury, it is now more important than ever that Gunners boss Arsene Wenger makes a move in the transfer market to bolster his defensive options.
Arsenal's Per Mertesacker will miss the club's pre-season tour of America through injury
Valencia's German international centre-back Shkodran Mustafi would be an ideal signing for Arsenal. Even before Mertesacker's injury, the Gunners needed to bring in defensive reinforcements. Both of their first-choice centre-backs are on the wrong side of 30, and back-ups Gabriel Paulista and Calum Chambers are not at the level required to be successful in the Premier League.
The signing of Rob Holding from Bolton Wanderers looks to be good business for the future, but the Gunners need proven winners who are ready to play at the highest level if they expect to challenge on all fronts next season.
Arsenal have recently signed Rob Holding from Bolton
Mustafi, 24, has 12 caps for Germany and has been a regular for Valencia, making 78 appearances in the two years that he has been at the club.
The former Sampdoria defender's contract does not expire at the Mestalla until the summer of 2019, so it would require a substantial fee to tempt Valencia into selling. Their financial troubles have been well documented, however, so a sizeable fee could force them to consider selling one of their best players.
Should a move come to fruition, Mustafi would instantly improve the Gunners' back-line and could form an extremely solid partnership with Laurent Koscielny. His addition to the Arsenal side would turn them into genuine contenders both domestically and on the continent and Wenger should make this signing his priority.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger