Granit Xhaka
Granit Xhaka

Arsenal have signed German international central defender Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia, the London club said on Tuesday.

The Gunners are reported to have paid in the region of 35 million pounds (42 million euros) to clinch the deal to reinforce the team’s perceived weak spot.

“He is at the right age,” Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger said of the 24-year-old who was in Germany’s 2014 World Cup winning squad. “And he has good experience,” Wenger added of the Euro 2016 semi-finalist.

“He is a very focused player who can play with the ball as well. We have taken a great player but have prepared well for the future.”

Mustafi, who has both German and Albanian nationality, spent two years at Valencia making 81 appearances, and came through the Everton youth system before two seasons on loan at Sampdoria, where he played 53 games.

The central defender arrives at the Premier League outfit after injuries to fellow centre-backs Per Mertesacker and Gabriel and has long been pursued by Wenger.

Earlier Tuesday Arsenal signed Spanish striker Lucas Perez from Deportivo La Coruna paying 17 million pounds ($22.3 million, 20 million euros).

Mustafi and Perez follow Swiss international midfielder Granit Xhaka, Japanese forward Takuma Asano and young English centre-back Rob Holding in arriving at Arsenal during the mid-year transfer window. – Agence France-Presse

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