​Arsenal manager Unai Emery has backed Shkodran Mustafi to play an important role for the club after he failed to secure a move away from Emirates Stadium during the summer.

The 27-year-old was deemed to be surplus to requirements but he couldn't find a new club, instead deciding to stay at Arsenal even after the late arrival of Chelsea's David Luiz.

Even though it's clear that Mustafi wasn't part of Arsenal's plans, Emery claims the Germany international will be given a clean slate this season and eventually the chance to return to first-team football.

Shkodran Mustafi

"Mustafi decided to be here and when he did, for me, he is another player like the others in the team," Emery said, quoted by Sky Sports

"Of course I respect his decision and, when he decided, I spoke with him and said 'for me you are in the squad and I am going to work with you as with the other players'.

"I don't know all exactly what was in his decision [to stay] but, when we spoke and he decided to be here, it was a start with him as another player in the squad.

"He is working every day with a big motivation and good experience. That is what we want, training with good experience, helping and, after, giving us his performance."

Arsenal have been boosted in defence in the build up thier their match against Watford this weekend as full-backs Héctor Bellerín and Kieran Tierney have returned to training, while centre-back Konstantinos Mavropanos should be available again next month.

But last year's Player of the Season, Alexandre Lacazette, has been ruled out for a month due to an ankle injury, something which should see Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang used through the middle with Reiss Nelson coming in on the left.