Arsenal’s search for a centre back is officially over.
The club have today confirmed the signing of German international defender Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia on a four-year deal.
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 30, 2016
The Gunners had been in protracted talks with Mustafi’s club Valencia, with earlier bids rejected by the Spanish side as they held out for Mustafi’s buyout clause of around £43m.
However, the two clubs have reached a compromise and a fee of £35m was agreed before the weekend.
Personal terms and a medical were a formality from there onwards, and the 24-year-old, far and away Arsene Wenger’s most expensive defender, will compete with Laurent Koscielny, Gabriel Paulista, fellow new signing Rob Holding and compatriot Per Mertesacker for a place in the Arsenal defence.
Arsène Wenger told Arsenal.com: “He is at the right age. He has good experience. He is a very focused player who can play with the ball as well. We have taken a great player but have prepared well for the future.”
Mustafi returns to England after four years away. He was on the books at Everton for three years in the early stages of his career, but he only made one appearance for David Moyes’ side in a Europa Leauge match in 2009. (He was, however, on the bench for a handful of Premier League games, one of whom was against his new employers.)
Mustafi (18) playing for Everton u23’s in 2009. pic.twitter.com/uWo2C7iEcC
— Cefnogwr Cymraeg (@justonseshltd) August 26, 2016
In all, Mustafi made 53 appearances in Italy before joining Valencia for €8m in 2014. His stock has risen since then for both club and country, as the past two years have seen him become a permanent fixture in Joachim Low’s Germany national squad.
The move, along with the £17m deal to sign Deportivo striker Lcas Pérez, comes as Wenger is set to take his summer spending near the £85m mark following the earlier arrivals of Holding, Granit Xhaka, Takuma Asano and Kelechi Nwakali.
Whether this is the last of Arsenal’s transfer business remains to be seen, ahead of the transfer deadline on Wednesday night.