Mustafi leaves Arsenal for Schalke, Maitland-Niles and Willock loaned out
Shkodran Mustafi joins Bundesliga club Schalke on a free, Maitland-Niles and Willock loaned to West Brom and Newcastle [photo courtesy]

Arsenal completed a flurry of transfer deadline day departures on Monday with Germany defender Shkodran Mustafi heading home to Schalke O4 and Joe Willock and Ainsley Maitland-Niles loaned to Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion respectively.

The Premier League club had already brought in attacking midfielder Martin Odegaard and goalkeeper Mat Ryan for the rest of the season from Real Madrid and Brighton & Hove Albion.

They had already moved on players who were not part of manager Mikel Arteta’s plans, with Mesut Ozil and Sokratis Papastathopoulos released and Sead Kolasinac joining Schalke on loan.

Arteta, who said the club were on track with their rebuilding plans, thanked Mustafi for his contribution after four and a half years, more than 150 appearances and having played a big part in two FA Cup wins.

“Musti has been a key player for us for a long period of time. He played a very important part in my first season as manager and I’d like to thank him for his professionalism and for always being ready when called upon,” he said.

Utility player Maitland-Niles was a late move, allowing the 23-year-old to gain regular first-team opportunities.

“This decision to go on loan to West Bromwich Albion for the rest of this season is to support Ainsley and his growth further,” said Arteta.

England youth international Willock’s loan deal also extends to the end of the season. Arteta said the 21-year-old midfielder was progressing well but also needed regular games.

The Spaniard’s focus will now turn to Arsenal’s trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the league on Tuesday.

Arteta said it would be difficult for Kieran Tierney (calf) and Bukayo Saka (hip) to return from injury at Molineux.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s absence is also set to continue, with the captain yet to get the green light to join the squad after he left the first-team bubble to visit his ill mother.


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