Arsenal flop who cost £35m announces shock retirement and lands new job straight away

Shkodran Mustafi
-Credit: (Image: Roland Krivec/DeFodi Images)

Ex-Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi has announced his retirement from professional football at the age of just 32 as he prepares to take on a coaching job.

Mustafi spent five years at Arsenal after being signed in a deal worth £35million, though failed to live up to his high expectations during the course of his stay in North London.

The centre-back made a total of 151 appearances for the Gunners before his eventual exit in 2021 and claimed two FA Cup trophies during this period. Eventually falling out of favour under Mikel Arteta, the 2014 World Cup winner signed for Schalke in February 2021 after terminating his contract at Arsenal. He later signed for Spanish club Levante, though has been out of action since the end of the 2022/23 campaign.

Making clear his next steps in football on Tuesday, Mustafi confirmed his playing days are over but he will become the new assistant coach of Germany under-17s.

"I've been thinking about gaining experience as a coach for a while," he said in a statement. "On the one hand, it's a shame that it's coming so soon because I would have liked to have played football myself for longer.

"On the other hand, I'm really looking forward to the time ahead and to taking my first steps as a coach at the DFB. I want to pass on all the experience I've gained during my time with the U15s, U21s and of course with the senior national team to the boys."

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Kai Kruger, head of Germany's junior national sides, added: "We are convinced that he can become a great coach. We want to accompany him on this path. By signing him, we remain true to our philosophy of developing not only players but also coaches.

"In our discussions, we felt Shkodran's passion for imparting his experiences right from the start. He lives football - in a new role in the future, in our team!"