MIKEL ARTETA refuses to give up on Shkodran Mustafi and believes he can turn the Germans Arsenal career around.
Mustafi has become a figure of ridicule among fans since his 2016 transfer from Valencia for 34.85million.
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The club tried to sell the former Everton academy player in the last three windows but found no takers.
Mistakes have blighted Mustafis career in North London and he made another gaffe in Tuesdays 2-2 draw against Chelsea.
It was his awful backpass which led to team-mate David Luizs 26th-minute red card. Yet the World Cup winner recovered well to help earn a point.
And boss Arteta felt Mustafis reaction shows why he should NOT be written off.
Arsenals chief said: Ive worked with players like this, Ive had team-mates like this and there is always a moment where they click.
I can accept a mistake, no problem. What Im not going to accept is someone who makes a mistake and then stops playing, doesnt want the ball and doesnt want to make decisions.
That player is not acceptable for our team.
But Musti, after that incident against Chelsea, tried to play every single time, he went for every single challenge, he put his body on the line.
He was down afterwards, yes, but he reacted and if he does that, he will overcome the situation.
I ask him to play the way we want to play, he made a mistake, on another day it will be someone else.
We want to minimise them and find the reason why that happens but I like his reaction after that.
Arteta was a first-team Everton player when Mustafi came through at Goodison Park over ten years ago.
They never played together for the Toffees, nor did they at Arsenal as Mustafi joined the club months after Arteta hung up his boots.
Artetas predecessor Unai Emery revealed in August that Mustafi had been told he could leave.
But the centre-back has ended up outlasting Emery and now has a manager who believes in him.
Arteta added: While he is my player and he is training with me the way he does of course he has a long-term future at Arsenal.
The plans maybe in the summer were different with him, I came here, he is here and his attitude is right. He wants to help.
Yet Arteta warned Mustafi, 27, his problem is more than just confidence.
Pep Guardiolas former No2 said: Confidence is not the only issue. I dont believe that at nearly 28 you cannot improve certain aspects of the game.
I believe that you can. Its my job to do that.
With Luiz banned, Mustafi hopes to start in tonights FA Cup fourth-round clash at Bournemouth.
Though he faces a battle with Sokratis and Rob Holding back after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament coming into contention.
On Holding, 24, Arteta added: He is a very interesting player, who is going to be very valuable for us.