The German has impressed after being brought back into the starting XI and he is now keen on staying with the Gunners for the long term.

A matter of months ago it appeared certain that Shkodran Mustafi was on his way from Arsenal.

Cast aside by former boss Unai Emery, the German defender had not featured in one Premier League game during the opening three weeks of this season.

An exit looked inevitable, but the 27-year-old is back in the side under Mikel Arteta and believes that he could nevertheless have a long-term future in north London.

“Why not?” He explained, having helped Arsenal to a third clean sheet in a row on Thursday night as they beat Olympiacos 1-0 in the first leg of the Europa League last-32 tie.

“I’ve always taken things daily. We had a match on Thursday, we’ve got the upcoming important game in the weekend and as long as I’m playing for a club I always gave everything until the last moment.

“When I pick, or whenever the club and I pick, it will continue I’m happy, if not then we must go forward.”

Mustafi’s renaissance in Arsenal this year has been incredible.

Having been brought back into the fold by Arteta, he’s started each of the past six matches – assisting Arsenal remain unbeaten since the beginning of 2020.

He played a starring role in Greece on Thursday night and is almost certain to begin again on Sunday when Everton see Emirates Stadium at the Premier League.

It has been a remarkable transformation from a participant whose career in north London seemed to be over, but he’s adamant he never stopped thinking he could turn things around.

“If you think things are over for you, then you need to retire,” he said. “That is not like you ought to think as an expert.

“You always get the chances and a team has over 20 players for a reason. There’s a good deal of competition, there are a whole lot of games and everybody in the team is necessary.

“The most important thing for me was to be professional as so long as you remain professional, you don’t have any fault for anything. Remain professional, wait till you get your next chance and obviously you’ve got to take it.”

Despite this positive mindset, Mustafi admits that it was tough to cope with not being contained in matchday squads throughout the first months of the year.

However, it was during those times that the World Cup winner drew power from those closest to him.

“It’s been hard,” he said. “But I am someone who tries to see more of the positive things than the negatives. I think that helped me a lot.

“Having my family around me — my children, my wife — since life isn’t only football. That is something I kept remembering to myself.

“Being in training daily, playing a great deal of games, you get a good deal of focus but still in the end of the day I am a father of two children and I try to concentrate on this too”

Mustafi was once again paired with David Luiz through Thursday night’s success in Athens, together with the experienced duo continued to impress as a partnership.

Both are players that bore the brunt of a hefty criticism before, but under Arteta they’ve been the bedrock of a defence that’s proving increasingly tough to break down.

Far from being criticised, they’re currently being praised – with Mustafi even with his name chanted from the Arsenal fans lately.

And for a player who has had a difficult relationship with his own fans in the past, that’s something to savour.

“It’s always important to have a fantastic relationship with the fans,” said the defender.

“For me the most important thing was to be professional, to always be there for my team-mates and for the club and obviously once you play well they love your performances.

“However, it makes it easier when you have the fans behind your back supporting you, so I’m happy for this.”