Schalke sign defender Shkodran Mustafi from Arsenal on deal until end of season

Shkodran Mustafi has left Arsenal to sign for Schalke as a replacement for Liverpool new boy Ozan Kabak.

Mustafi joins on a permanent transfer, though his deal in Gelsenkirchen runs only to the end of the season.

The 28-year-old World Cup winner began his career at Hamburg but this will be the Germany international’s first taste of the Bundesliga, having left as a youngster for Everton before spells with Sampdoria and Valencia.

He joined Arsenal in 2016 and has made more than 150 appearances, playing a role in two FA Cup wins though he missed both finals due to injury.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta told his club’s website: “Musti has been a key player for us for a long period of time. He played a very important part in my first season as manager and I’d like to thank him for his professionalism and for always being ready when called upon. Everybody at Arsenal wishes Musti well at Schalke.”

In Germany he joins a Schalke side rooted to the bottom of the table with only one win all season and the worst defensive record in the league.

Struggles on an off the pitch contributed to the decision to sell Kabak to Liverpool, with Mustafi seen as an ideal replacement in the short term.

“You have to look at this transfer from two perspectives,” Schalke head of sport Jochen Schneider said on his club’s website.

“Ozan Kabak leaving Schalke makes a lot of sense financially, especially due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

“On top of that, we believe that we’ve signed a very good centre-back in Shkodran Mustafi, who will fill the gap that Ozan will definitely leave.”