With Arsenal's injury crisis worsening so close to the new season, what will this German defender bring to the London club?
Germany's Shkodran Mustafi celebrates after scoring their first goal
After a long-term injury ruled out senior defender Per Mertesacker and, with Gabriel sidelined for eight weeks, Sky Sports are reporting that Shkodran Mustafi has agreed to join Arsenal from Valencia. So what would Mustafi bring to Arsenal if he is to line up in the Gunner's defence this season?
The German defender has spent time in England with Everton between 2009-2012, with Sampdoria in Italy between 2012-2014 and with Valencia in Spain. The centre-back made 50 appearances and scored once in a two-season stay in Italy, while he has made 61 appearances for Valencia, scoring six goals in a career that has taken him to three of Europe's top leagues.
If the valuation of around £30 million is met, he will become one of the highest profile defensive transfers of the summer, behind John Stones’ £47.5 million transfer from Everton to Manchester City.
The central defender is a very talented player and a superb prospect at only 24 years old. Having represented a German side where defenders must be proficient with their feet, he should slot into the Arsenal side very well.
Where Mustafi excels though is in his defending and physicality. A fairly aggressive defender, the German is also strong in his tackles and difficult to push off the ball. At just 6-foot-tall, some may question his ability to defend his own area when the ball is crossed in. However, what he lacks in height he makes up for with his powerful jumping and heading ability.
Arsenal's Gabriel Paulista lies injured
What Arsenal will really want him to bring is stability. With injuries plaguing Arsenal for so long, Arsene Wenger will hope that a fresh face will both rejuvenate his squad and get the fans that have been sceptical of his transfer policy back on side.
However, two questions remain. First, why did they not bid for Ashley Williams? The former Swansea defender went for around £9 million, a steal in comparison to the proposed £30 million valuation of Mustafi.
Even though Mustafi is still young and Williams is closing in on his 32nd birthday, perhaps the amount of Premier League experience Williams already has would have meant that a move for the Welsh centre-back was a better call.
Second, will this transfer precede a move for a top quality striker? Only time will tell.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger during the lap of honour at the end of the match