Arsenal and Unai Emery are set to sanction the departure of Shkodran Mustafi and Mohamed Elneny before the close of the European transfer window, according to reports from The Express.
Mustafi and Elneny, both 27, have struggled for first-team opportunities since the arrival of Emery in 2018, and the Spanish boss is set to allow both the defender and midfielder to leave The Emirates before the European transfer window closes on September 2nd.
Mustafi arrived at Arsenal in 2016 from Valencia, but the German international has failed to nail down a starting spot in Emery’s preferred XI with a spate of inconsistent performances leading to calls for his departure from the club from the Gunner’s fanbase.
The North London outfit had been crying out for a first-choice central defender following the departure of Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona, yet Mustafi has been unable to make the centre-half role his own, with Emery preferring the likes of Rob Holding to occupy the central defensive role.
And for Mohamed Elneny, this may be a case of a player who was never given a true opportunity to shine in the Premier League for Arsenal. Signed from Basel in 2016, Elneny has made 46 appearances since arriving at The Emirates, though the Egyptian has made 67 appearances for his national side.
The potential departure of Mustafi and Elneny would enable Emery to have a degree of flexibility in the upcoming January transfer window owing to the wages freed up by the German and Egyptian duo. As reported by The Express, Emery confirmed that his decision to let the duo leave is rooted in his desire for their careers to continue progressing.
“I spoke with them a lot of times last year and in pre-season, and I think it is positive for them to leave and sign for another team where they can be protagonists, be happy and continue their careers.
Unai Emery, August 2019 [Evening Standard]
Despite the uncertainty over first-team players such as Mustafi and Elneny, Arsenal have started the 2019/20 Premier League campaign in impressive form, winning their first two games for the first time in 11 years, with their 100% winning run set to be put to the test with Saturday’s clash against Liverpool at Anfield.