Keown: Koscielny needs leader Mustafi alongside him.


Keown - "Mustafi comes with the right sort of pedigree."


Arsenal legend Martin Keown believes getting the right central defensive partnership will be key for the Gunners this season.

The former defender reckons Arsenal's new £35 million signing Shkodran Mustafi will need to have "some leadership qualities" in order to form a good partnership with Laurent Koscielny at the heart of the Gunners defence.

“If you can get it right in that central defensive pairing, that’s key – it always is,” Keown tells FourFourTwo. “Mustafi started in Germany’s first match at the Euros and looked very good; in fact he scored. He comes with the right sort of pedigree and I hope he comes with some leadership qualities as well. That’s something I feel is important if he’s going to play alongside Laurent Koscielny.

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“Koscielny has developed a long way but Per Mertesacker has very much been the leader of the pair, so Mustafi must have those similar qualities as well.

“That central area at the back is really very important and you want experienced players. What you want now is for Mustafi to immediately put in the performances that Wenger is looking for.”

Mustafi, who left Valencia this summer, is behind David Luiz and John Stones in the list of the most expensive defenders in history.

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