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Mustafi: We won’t give up on title bid

Hector Bellerin could be fit enough to face Hull on Saturday

08 February, 2017 — By Steve Barnett

FORGET Paul Merson, Arsenal have a new “Magic Man” in the shape of Shkodran Mustafi after the defender declared this week that the north Londoners are not out of the Premier League title race.

Back-to-back defeats against Chelsea and Watford have left the Gunners 12 points behind Antonio Conte’s Premier League pacesetters.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and Mustafi’s defensive partner Laurent Koscielny have pretty much said the title is now Chelsea’s to lose.

But like a grand illusionist or, some might argue, delusionist, Mustafi insists that he is still “a believer” and says he has no intention of giving up on overhauling the Blues.

“I think it’s going to be more difficult than it was before but I’m a believer,” said the German international. “I don’t give up. “As long as it’s possible we’re going to fight for it, and in the end we will see, and if we’re lucky enough and good enough to go for it or not. The first game we lost at home to Watford was really disappointing,” Mustafi added in an interview with Sky Sports News.

“We woke up a bit late, conceded two quick goals and it was difficult to come back. We were disappointed as well with losing at Chelsea, which was a completely different game. We knew it would be difficult at Stamford Bridge but we knew, as well, it’s possible to win. In the end we didn’t do enough.”

Meanwhile Hector Bellerin will return to Arsenal training tomorrow (Thursday) after receiving the all-clear from an MRI scan assessing the head injury that he sustained against Chelsea on Saturday.

The 21-year-old was substituted after colliding with Marcus Alonso as the Blues’ defender scored the opening goal at Stamford Bridge. Wenger admitted afterwards that Bellerin “did not know the score” as he was led from the field, but the Spaniard has recovered well.

Bellerin could be available to face Hull City on Saturday, although it’s believed that Wenger is leaning towards playing Gabriel for the early kick at the Emirates Stadium.

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