Shkodran Mustafi‘s long-term injury sustained during Germany’s meaningless qualifier has caused Arsene Wenger to ask why the defender was named in the squad in the first place.
The Gunners boss has hit out at Germany manager Joachim Low’s decision to play the defender in a worthless World Cup qualifier game – as Germany had already secured their spot in next summer’s tournament in Russia, and there was no need to have risked the defender.
As Mustafi is now expected to face six weeks on the sidelines, Wenger has voiced his incredulity at Mustafi’s inclusion – and now faces a challenging defensive crisis as Laurent Koscielny is also doubtful.
The 25-year-old, playing in Germany’s 5-1 win over Azerbaijan in Kaiserslautern this week, tore a thigh muscle, with Wenger not expecting him back until late November. The Arsenal boss couldn’t hide his disappointment at losing such a key player to his side, and a defender he had strongly counted on in the last couple of fixtures.
“It’s always difficult to predict the situation because the player I least expected to lose during the break was Mustafi,” said Wenger in his pre-match press conference.
“First of all, I was not sure he would play. Secondly, Germany had already qualified so I didn’t expect him to be out injured as the games would be less intense. He didn’t play in the first game, and we lost him in the second game against Azerbaijan at home. We have to cope with that now.”
Mustafi was completing an average of 6.20 clearances per 90 minutes in the Premier League. Now, Wenger will have to re-think his defensive options as they head to Vicerage Road this weekend to play Watford.
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