Ray Parlour: Why Arsenal are more equipped for title bid this season

The former Arsenal midfielder believes Shkodran Mustafi has turned the Gunners in title contenders

Ray Parlour says Shkodran Mustafi has made Arsenal more equipped for a Premier League title bid this season.

The Germany international moved to the north London side in a £35m deal from La Liga side Valencia in the summer transfer window.

Mustafi has slotted in alongside France defender Laurent Koscielny and the Gunners have kept three clean sheets in their last four Premier League games.

Arsenal finished in second place in the Premier League table last season but 10 points behind champions Leicester City.

Arsene Wenger’s side are currently in second place and level on points with leaders Manchester City after nine games.

Former Arsenal midfielder Parlour believes the Gunners are more equipped to launch a sustained Premier League title challenge this term.

“They’ve got a well-equipped squad,” Parlour told the Alan Brazil Up Front podcast.

“Shkodran Mustafi has really helped them at the back with Laurent Koscielny. That was always a big problem area. The centre-half position.

“Per Mertesacker is a little bit slow. Arsenal weren’t willing to push up because they knew they could get done on the counter-attack with pace. Now, they can push up higher and make it more compact.”

Arsenal haven’t lost a Premier League game since a 4-3 defeat by title rivals Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium in their opening game of the 2016-17 season.

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The Gunners signed five players in the summer transfer window, including Mustafi.

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