Arsenal have splashed the cash with a double raid on La Liga to sign Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi and Deportivo striker Lucas Perez for a combined fee of around £52m.
£35m German defender Mustafi has signed a long-term contract with the Gunners and becomes Arsenal’s third big money signing of the summer following Perez and midfielder Granit Xhaka in moving to North London.
The 24-year-old told arsenalfc.com that he is delighted to sign for Arsenal and hopes he can take the next step in his career and enjoy his time in the Premier League.
“I hope I’m going to have a great time here.” said the German international.
“When you change team, obviously you try to always make a step forward. I think coming here I’ve made a step forward, because Arsenal is a big club with big players and a great manager.
“When a club comes in and shows interest, and it’s a club like Arsenal, that makes you feel special. The situation wasn’t the easiest one but when you see that people really want to get you here, it gives the feeling that you’re really wanted.”
Mustafi is no stranger to the Premier League having played in the youth ranks at Everton from 2009-2012, before making the switch to Italian side Sampdoria on a free transfer in January 2012.
After 50 appearances for the La Liga outfit, he made the switch to Valencia for €8m in 2014 and put in some solid and consistent performances in 61 appearances for the club and also has a World Cup winners medal with Germany to his name.
Earlier in the day, Arsenal wrapped up a £17.1m deal to sign former Everton target Lucas Perez, who looks to add more firepower to Arsenal’s front line.
In an interview on the club’s website, the 27-year-old said he is delighted at having made the switch to such a popular club and gave fans an idea of what they can expect from their newest signing.
“I’m very proud and happy to be here,” said the Spanish striker.
“It’s a massive step in my career to come to a club with the history and quality that Arsenal have and be able to play in competitions like the Premier League and the Champions League.
I think I’m a pacy player. I like to link up and combine with my team-mates, playing one-twos to work a shot. I don’t want to put myself in a box, I hope that the Arsenal fans can see for themselves and enjoy watching me.”
Perez began his career in the youth ranks of Atletico Madrid and also had spells with Rayo Vallecano. Karpaty Lviv, Dynamo Kiev and PAOK, before returning to Spain in 2014 on loan to Deportivo, before making the move permanent in 2015.
I have never seen Lucas Perez play for Deportivo but from what I hear, I don’t think Lucas Perez is the answer to Arsene Wenger’s problems and could turn out to be another expensive flop.
He scored 17 La Liga goals last year but the Premier League is so much more competitive. When it comes to comparing him to the likes of Sergio Aguero and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, he is no match to their quality.
While I am not sure Perez will turn out to be a great signing, I do think the signing Shkodran Mustafi is an excellent piece of business from Arsene Wenger.
The Arsenal defence has come under question many a time over the past few seasons but if Mustafi continues his good form from Valencia, he could form quite a solid partnership with Laurent Koscielny in defence.