After Sunday’s remarkable 3-4 defeat at The Emirates, it’s fair to say that Arsenal fans are less than impressed with Arsene Wenger at present. The Frenchman has admittedly had to deal with injuries to defenders Gabriel and Per Mertesacker, leaving Laurent Koscielny as the club’s only established centre back with the Premier League season up and running, but Wenger has known of this situation for long enough, and also needed to strengthen up front as it became clear some time ago that Olivier Giroud is not a striker capable of leading Arsenal to the summit of the league table. Yet, as of Monday afternoon, nothing has been done, and yesterday’s spectacular second half collapse against Jurgen Klopp’s side has prompted much of the anger already being felt by Arsenal fans to boil over.
Valencia’s Shkodran Mustafi has been suggested and repeatedly rumoured over the last fortnight, but given Arsenal’s need for a defender in the immediate short term, the time it’s taken to seal a deal for the German international has been interpreted as Wenger stalling, or even dithering.
Arsenal deal to sign £28m Mustafi getting closer. Will be great signing. Germans say he's one of their best defenders after Hummels, Boateng
— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) August 15, 2016
The above tweet from Sky Sports’ Kaveh Solhekol is a bit more encouraging for the Gunners but still, a deal is yet to be concluded. As such, why don’t Manchester United launch a bid?
Jose Mourinho is in the market for another centre back, with ESPN suggesting that there is significant interest in bringing Jose Fonte to Old Trafford, but if the price for Mustafi is only £28m, Mourinho could potentially gazump a Premier League rival whilst strengthening the last area of his side where a question mark remains.
United have proven with the captures of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the world record transfer of Paul Pogba that a lack of Champions League football is no stumbling block to their player recruitment, and it’s clearly not put off any of their key targets. As such, convincing Mustafi to come to Old Trafford instead of The Emirates shouldn’t prove to be particularly difficult. You need only look at the two sides opening games of this season to note the differing situations that they find themselves in; United already look a far better unit under Mourinho than they did under Louis van Gaal, whilst Arsenal collapsed so spectacularly against Liverpool that the scoreline, despite appearing to be close could have been far worse. They were abject at the beginning of the second half yesterday, and if United did come in for the German, one wonders if such a performance might help to influence his decision.