MUSTAFI HAILS INFLUENCE OF COUNTRYMAN MERTASACKER IN SETTLING DOWN AT ARSENAL
Shkodran Mustafi has praised Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker for helping him settle so quickly in north London.
Mustafi joined the Gunners last summer for £35million and has largely impressed in the middle of Arsene Wenger’s defence.
The 24-year-old struggled briefly with a hamstring injury in December but since then has become a dependable figure for Arsenal.
He believes fellow countryman Mertesacker has played a big part in his development at the Emirates Stadium.
‘Per helped me a lot,’ said Mustafi, who was back in training on Wednesday preparing for the visit of Burnley on Sunday afternoon in the Premier League.
‘When I had just arrived, having a person at the club with so much experience and with the personality he has helped me a lot.
He helps me on the pitch because when he sees things, he corrected me a few times. He’s not just the type of player who says, ‘You didn’t do that well enough’ or, ‘You have to do it this way’, he tells you why.
‘In the short time that I worked with him in the national team, I learned a lot from him.’
Both Mustafi and Mertesacker appeared in high spirits as they took part in a full training session at Arsenal’s London Colney base on Wednesday.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger cast a watchful eye over the session as his squad worked on their fitness ahead of this weekend’s must-win game against Burnley.
Although Sean Dyche’s side have proved to be formidable opponents at Turf Moor, the Clarets have picked up just a solitary point away from home in the Premier League this season.
Arsenal still trail league leaders Chelsea by eight points heading into this weekend’s round of fixtures and Wenger will be expecting his side to take all three points from Sunday’s match at the Emirates.