Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has seemingly ruled out a January exit for Shkodran Mustafi.

As per Football.London, Arteta said that Mustafi is needed as cover in the squad with uncertainty over some of his other centre halves.

For example, Sokratis looks set to leave in this transfer window and William Saliba has already joined Nice on loan.

Arteta has recently settled on a central defensive pairing of Rob Holding and Pablo Mari, and has Gabriel waiting to come back into the side too.

Arsenal Training Session
(Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

“(He) came back from a really difficult injury at the end of last season. After that he was doing really well,” said Arteta. “His performances were increasing and getting better and better.

“He started to play some games in Europe which I think he did well as well. Now it’s when do you make the next step to be the starter? He’s been very close in a few games.

 

“But now we’ve found as well a partnership that is giving us clean sheets. But he’s still in contention. His future right now is here. Trying to help. We don’t have that many (centre backs) right now.

“(Gabriel) has been out for a period, David (Luiz) has been injured, so the situation is completely different to before.”

Arsenal transfer update
(Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

The rancour around Mustafi has died down somewhat since the time when he was a regular starter but always with a mistake in him.

But it’s clear from the reactions of some Arsenal fans on Twitter that they don’t understand why Arteta would still need him.

Here’s how some Gunners reacted on Twitter to Arteta’s comments ahead of tonight’s game with Crystal Palace:

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