Boss - Why ‘Kostafi’ partnership works

Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny
Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny

Arsene Wenger has revealed why Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi’s partnership has been so effective.

The centre backs have helped Arsenal keep back-to-back clean sheets and the Gunners are unbeaten in the five matches the duo have started together, which has been a pleasant surprise for Wenger ahead of Sunday’s trip to Burnley.

“Koscielny is the leader because he is captain but Mustafi looks like he is taking leadership as well at the back,” he said. “What is surprising is how quickly he has integrated into the team at the back and how quickly they have formed a pair that works well together.

“Mustafi is a player who is highly focused. On that front he is a typical German. He wants to do the job well every day and he speaks his mind. He is vocal in the dressing room.

“He is not a quiet guy who hides. He speaks out with his opinion and communicates a lot. Even when you isolate the pictures of the game and look at that he speaks a lot during the game.

“He has the potential [to be a great defender for Arsenal], which is interesting at the moment. It it is a bit too early to say, you have to be cautious when a guy has played only three or four games.

“What makes me positive is he is focused, has the desire to do well, and is 24 years old. So for a central defender that is quite young. Let’s see how he survives in games like Sunday against Burnley, where it is a case of ‘Can I head the ball? Can I win the second ball?’ I would say I have a positive feeling.”

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