Ever since Mikel Arteta took over at Arsenal, there’s been one undeniable change that many of us can’t quite wrap our heads around—how he’s made Shkodran Mustafi and David Luiz look not just competent, but really good.
Most especially Mustafi, who has spent years being abused by Arsenal fans for his individual mistakes. Countless times we moaned and groaned that he was even on the pitch, forgetting that when he first arrived, he was actually so good that he went 19 straight matches without losing as long as he was in the starting XI.
Still, even with his resurgence under Mikel Arteta, I’ve been hesitant to abandon my misgivings that he was a changed man. Not by choice, mind you, but by necessity. My brain takes a lot of convincing to trust someone or something that has let me down before.
Not anymore. Shkodran Mustafi has been simply incredible since the restart. As David Luiz has floundered a bit, shaking our faith in his resurgence, Mustafi has done the opposite, continuing to prove how incredibly useful he is, both in a centerback pairing, and as a right-sided centerback in a back three.