Shkodran Mustafi has been an instant hit with Arsenal fans since his arrival from Valencia in the summer, and his revelation about Marco Reus following Germany’s narrow triumph over Argentina at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil will only make his supporters love him more.
Mustafi had been playing for Sampdoria prior to the tournament and had made the initial 27-man squad selected by national team manager Joachim Low, but just missed the cut for the final team.
However, the centre-back was placed on stand-by, and they do say that when one door closes for someone, it creates an opportunity for someone else.
That can certainly can be applied to a 22-year-old Mustafi’s case when Marco Reus had to withdraw from the squad following injury.
The former Everton defender took the Borussia Dortmund star’s place in Low’s side, and went on to win the World Cup in agonising circumstances for Reus.
However, in the celebrations following the match Mustafi held up a Germany shirt with Reus’s name on the back, and has explained what was a good gesture.
“I played a game just before the World Cup,” Mustafi told Arsenal Player. “I was in the last 27 but I didn’t make the last 23. But then Marco got injured and I got a call to join the team again, so I went to Brazil.
“When you think that you didn’t make the 23 players the first time, you think, ‘OK, I go there now, but my chances of playing aren’t going to be that big’. But straight away in the first game, you have to go out on to the pitch and in the second game you play again. Then you play again and again, and end up winning the World Cup.
“When people said to me that Marco was injured and now it was my turn, it always sounded a bit like they had forgotten about Marco because I was in the final 23 players.
“What I didn’t want was to forget him. I think he deserved to be there as well. He’s a fantastic player and that’s why I didn’t want to forget him.”
Callum Connolly, Pundit Arena.