Ray Parlour delivers verdict on new Arsenal signing Shkodran Mustafi

The former Arsenal midfielder has been impressed with Shkodran Mustafi

Ray Parlour believes Shkodran Mustafi has established a promising partnership with Arsenal centre-half Laurent Koscielny.

The Germany international was signed in a deal from La Liga side Valencia in the final week of the summer transfer window as Arsene Wenger eased his injury crisis in defence.

Mustafi has started the north London side’s last five Premier League games as Arsenal collected maximum points thanks to victories over Southampton, Hull City, Chelsea, Burnley and Swansea City.

The 24-year-old is facing competition from compatriot Per Mertesacker and Brazilian defender Gabriel Paulista to partner Koscielny at centre-half in Wenger’s starting line-up.

But former Arsenal midfielder Parlour believes Mustafi offers more to Wenger’s side than Gabriel or Mertesacker ahead of their home clash against Middlesbrough on Saturday afternoon.

“Mustafi and Koscielny have shown that they can play together and there is a little bit of stability there,” Parlour told Alan Brazil Up Front podcast.

“They desperately needed a centre-half. Koscielny has been brilliant since he signed. He has got better and better as a player. They needed someone alongside him.

“You can’t push high up if you’ve got Per Mertesacker in your side. Gabriel Paulista hasn’t done it at the moment. He could be still getting used to the Premier League.

“But Shkodran Mustafi looks like he has a good partnership with Laurent Koscielny.”

Arsenal have conceded four goals in five Premier League games since Mustafi was brought into Wenger’s starting line-up.

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The north London side are in second place in the Premier League table and level on points with leaders Manchester City.

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