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Shkodran Mustafi’s Arsenal Shirt Number Dilemma Looms Large For Arsène Wenger

Anticipation is growing ahead of the long awaited announcement that Shkodran Mustafi is officially an Arsenal player.

It has been reported that the Germany international travelled to London over the weekend in order to complete a medical following the agreement of a £35 million fee for the Valencia centre-back.

The 24-year-old is expected to be formally unveiled sometime this week and all that remains to be revealed is when and what shirt number he will presented with.

It is the shirt number situation that presents something of a potential quandary for Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger as currently all the traditional defensive numbers are already allocated.

While Mustafi has worn the No.5 jersey for Valencia, current injured centre-back Gabriel has possession of this shirt. It is expected that while the two will ultimately fight it out for the same position in the heart of the Gunners’ defence, it’s hard to imagine Wenger stripping Gabriel of his shirt and handing it to Mustafi.

Germany v Ghana: Group G - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

Stranger things have happened however this is the very same thing that did actually happen at Old Trafford this summer when new Manchester United signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic requested the No.9 shirt, the jersey proudly worn by Anthony Martial.

Zlatan gets what Zlatan wants however, as sure enough, the No.9 became his. So who knows, perhaps Wenger will do likewise for Mustafi.

Failing this, the No.2 shirt might be available soon. Currently occupied by Mathieu Debuchy , it is publicly known that the Frenchman is keen on a move away and Mustafi could find himself stepping into the same number he wears while on international duty for Germany.

Other numbers potentially available include 21 and the pick of numbers above 30. 21 is currently in the possession of Calum Chambers and with the 21-year-old set for a loan move away from the Emirates, Mustafi could easily step into the other number he has worn for Germany.

Since no right minded starting XI defender will pick a jersey number in the 30’s, the options left for Mustafi are actually pretty few.

A betting man might say that Debuchy’s No.2 is the most likely choice for Wenger to bestow on his newest defender, a sentiment shared by Gunners’ fans.

Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena


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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.