Arsenal manager Unai Emery has given players at the club a new sense of freedom, according to defender Shkodran Mustafi. 

Emery took over in the summer after former boss Arsene Wenger departed the north London outfit following his 22-year-stint with the club.

A tough start to the campaign resulted in back-to-back defeats to Chelsea and Manchester City, but Emery has now got the side playing some excellent football and is drawing plaudits from the Arsenal fanbase and football community alike.

German centre-back Mustafi, who impressed in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool last weekend, spoke to BBC Sport about the transformation of the side under Mustafi’s tutelage, and how he gets the team to play his particular brand of football.

“He’s someone who really knows what he wants from each player,” said Mustafi.

“He tells you exactly what he wants you to do, but gives you freedom to expose your talent. I feel there’s a good mix between discipline and freedom. We try to work as a team, building up from the back. When we don’t have it, we press and defend from the front.

“When we have the ball, we’re all offensive players. When we lose the ball, we’re all defensive players. Against Liverpool, it was the first game where we came out from the first minute and were everywhere until the 90th.”

Emery’s start to life at Arsenal’s so far

Praise for Emery is hardly surprising following their fantastic start to the 2018/19 campaign. After losing their opening two matches of the Premier League season, they went on to win their next 12 games on the trot. Currently, Arsenal are on an unbeaten run of 14 matches and are just six points behind league leaders Manchester City.

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Arsenal are also the third-highest goalscorers in the league with 25 goals and are next in action in the league this Sunday when they take on Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Emirates Stadium.

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