Arsenal: Mustafi Gives Positive Lucas Perez Scouting Report

Arsenal’s two latest additions played against each other in La Liga, and Shkodran Mustafi gave a positive report about his new teammate Lucas Perez.

In an active summer transfer window, Arsene Wenger was able to bring in five players to the Emirates. First and foremost, he was swift in adding Granit Xhaka in a £35 million move before stalling throughout July and August, only adding fellow youngsters Takuma Asano and Rob Holding. Ultimately, though, Arsenal welcomed the additions of La Liga stars Lucas Perez and Shkodran Mustafi, and the two could be set to make their debuts this Saturday against Southampton.

While both have been regular starter for their respective clubs this past season, neither have first team experience in the Premier league – though it must be stated that Mustafi spent time in the Everton youth system so does have some understanding of the physically imposing and challenging nature of English football – and are relative unknowns among the general public.

Consequently, having an insight from either an expert, manager or teammate/opponent can be invaluable as we try to piece together what type of effect these new signings may have on the coming Arsenal season. When two new signings have played against each other, then, this gives us a unique opportunity to gauge the talents of both players, and it is exactly what Mustafi has provided us mere observers with his recent comments regarding former opponent and new teammate Perez:

“He is uncomfortable to play against. He’s a good striker – he has everything a striker needs. He’s someone you can play well with. He doesn’t just run around and wait for someone to give him a pass to score a goal. He works a lot for the team as well and he creates chances. He’s in the right place at the right time, as he showed last year in LaLiga. I played there for two years and I know it’s not that easy to score many goals in La Liga, because you have great defenders there as well. I think he’s going to help the team a lot.”

Having such a close-up review of one of Arsenal’s new signings is fantastic to read, and Mustafi certainly offers an exciting evaluation of Perez’s potential. While he is never going to publicly slag off his new teammate, he does not have to express such detailed analysis of Perez’s style, noting that he is a nightmare to play against, never giving opposing defender’s a moment’s rest.

Partnering such a persistent pursuer with the harassing Alexis Sanchez gives Wenger the opportunity to play a high-press system, utilising great pace and athletic ability in advanced areas. Mustafi is clearly aware of Perez’s qualities, his pace, his lethal finishing and his incessant chasing of the ball, and he could certainly blend well with the stronger but less athletic Olivier Giroud.

Clearly, a teammate’s comments do not necessitate that he will be a good or bad signing, but Mustafi certainly is aware of the qualities of Perez and his comments are exciting to consider what type of side Arsenal may evolve into with the Spaniard as the central striker.

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