Arsene Wenger has revealed that new signing Shkodran Mustafi has caught him by surprise so far in his Arsenal career.
The German international moved to the Emirates stadium towards the end of the summer transfer window following weeks of speculation which even suggested at one point that he will remain at Valencia.
After finally landing his man and witnessing him feature alongside Laurent Koscielny, Wenger has admitted that Mustafi is doing well than he expected.
“Koscielny is the leader because he is captain but Mustafi looks like he is taking leadership as well at the back,” the Arsenal manager said.
“What is surprising is how quickly he has integrated into the team at the back and how quickly they have formed a pair that works well together.
“Mustafi is a player who is highly focused. On that front he is a typical German. He wants to do the job well every day and he speaks his mind. He is vocal in the dressing room.
“He is not a quiet guy who hides. He speaks out with his opinion and communicates a lot. Even when you isolate the pictures of the game and look at that he speaks a lot during the game.
“He has the potential [to be a great defender for Arsenal], which is interesting at the moment. It it is a bit too early to say, you have to be cautious when a guy has played only three or four games.
“What makes me positive is he is focused, has the desire to do well, and is 24 years old. So for a central defender that is quite young. Let’s see how he survives in games like Sunday against Burnley, where it is a case of ‘Can I head the ball? Can I win the second ball?’ I would say I have a positive feeling.”