Shkodran Mustafi has learnt a lot about himself during his 18 months in England.
The Germany international moved to north London from Valencia in August 2016 but, despite spending three years at Everton’s academy when he was younger, the 25-year-old has already gained more from his time with us than he could have ever imagined.
“The Premier League is the most intense league in Europe or even in the world,” Mustafi told Arsenal Player. “I knew that before but now that I’ve played a lot of games, it’s just something that you feel. Your body feels really tired because you have a lot of games and it’s not used to it, so that shows you that the league is really intense.
“I think you grow. When I was younger and when I started to play in Italy and Spain, you always heard people saying, ‘It comes with experience’ but what is that experience? Why is everyone saying it?
“Then when you play in the Premier League alongside players who have won a lot of trophies or who have played a lot of games in the Premier League, they give you this kind of experience so you make less mistakes, you react differently to different situations. I would say that in the last year I’ve taken a lot of experience for myself.
“As a defender it’s really difficult to always do your job 100 per cent because it means that you have to do everything right. As soon as you do something wrong, it gives the other team an opportunity to score a goal, and then obviously it looks not so good.
“I’m working on being there when it really matter because you can lose a tackle or a duel, but to really be there when you have to, to deny the opponents’ opportunities, that’s what I’ve been working on.”
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