September 30, 2022

Arsenal finally have a ‘great’ centre-back pairing, says Jamie Redknapp

September 26, 2016
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24: (L-R) Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on September 24, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal have finally found a ‘great’ centre-back pairing in Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi after years of searching, Jamie Redknapp says.

The pair put in an immense defensive display during Arsenal’s thrilling 3-0 victory over Chelsea on Saturday, relishing the physical battle with Diego Costa and denying the in-form striker a sniff on goal.

German international Mustafi has made an assured start to life in the Premier League after moving to the Emirates for £35 million from Valencia in the summer.

The Gunners are unbeaten in the four games the 24-year-old has started alongside Koscielny in all competitions, and haven’t conceded more than one goal in any of the fixtures.

Former England international Redknapp believes the pair’s showing in the Chelsea clash proved Arsene Wenger has at long last found a settled central defensive partnership of real quality.

shkodran-mustafi-and-laurent-koscielny-pair-figure1‘Their centre backs have been too easily bullied in recent years by Didier Drogba and Diego Costa,’ Redknapp wrote in the Daily Mail.

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‘On Saturday afternoon, Shkodran Mustafi wasn’t having any of it.

‘He showed so much quality alongside Laurent Koscielny and for the first time in a long time it looks like Arsenal have found a great centre-back partnership.’

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