Alan Smith says Shkodran Mustafi has been making his presence felt in the Arsenal dressing room

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In his Daily Telegraph column, the former Arsenal striker says his dressing room sources confirm the Gunners’ new German centre-half is already a vocal presence at the club.

A presence Smith believes was much needed.

“Those at Arsenal confirm that he is no shrinking violet when it comes to speaking up in the dressing room.

“The 24-year-old is not afraid to say his piece. Of course, that is how it should be. Strong voices and views go hand in hand with successful teams.

“Yet Arsenal have not always been blessed with such forthright sorts, whether by coincidence or through a deliberate policy from Arsene Wenger.

“They say that has changed now, that some players speak up with a little more force.”

“If Mustafi contributes to the debate, that can only be good at a time when Per Mertesacker, a respected voice, is injured long-term.

“Mind you, Mertesacker’s compatriot might be the future now as a quicker, more mobile alternative in central defence.

“We saw that in the way he handled Diego Costa recently, doubling up with Koscielny to expertly smother Chelsea’s main danger.”

 

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