Shkodran Mustafi believes that Italy has made him ‘a complete defender’ and was shocked to be in the Germany World Cup squad.
The full-back arrived from Everton at Sampdoria in 2012, and has gone on to be an ever-present in the Bluerchiati backline.
And the 22-year-old has admitted that Serie A has improved him as a player – enough to be Marco Reus’ replacement for the national team.
“Someone had to Google my name to find me when I arrived at Samp,” he told Il Secolo XIX.
“But I think I’ve played well enough to make sure that doesn’t happen anymore!
“In England I grew up a lot in terms of athleticism, but at Samp I have become the compete defender.
“There is no better League than the Italian one if you want to improve in my role.
“I didn’t think I would get any playing time at the World Cup – so this tournament has exceeded all my expectations.”