Friday, December 2, 2022

Arsenal Express Heavy Interests In Signing 29 Y/O Bundesliga Defender: Right Man To Replace Mustafi?

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Bishwaraj Bhattacharyya
Former athlete. Now a journalist hoping to cover football no matter the league or country.

A tectonic shift is taking place at Arsenal ahead of the 2018/19 season as the club ends their 22-year association with Arsene Wenger. The board and the recruitment team is hard at work lining up players they can potentially sign to help make the transition better. Among the chosen few is Borussia Dortmund’s Sokratis Papastathopoulos who is reportedly available for £15m.

Head of the recruitment, Sven Mislintat is well acquainted with the player, having spent almost 10 years with the Bundesliga outfit previously. Sokratis has been a key figure in the Dortmund lineup ever since Mats Hummels’ departed for Bayern Munich. He has appeared in 198 games for BVB, 42 of those registered this season alone.

It was Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp, who brought Sokratis to the Westfalstadion following the 2012/13 season. The centre-back overcame every single obstacle that came his way early on to cement his place in the starting lineup. He currently holds seniority over Omer Toprak and Manuel Akanji.

Sokratis first appeared in the Bundesliga as a traditional centre-half but later adapted himself to the needs of the modern game. He is well trained in maintaining defensive stability with his timely challenges and high distribution skills.

Arsenal have lacked a player of his pedigree throughout the 2017/18 season, which turned them into the worst defensive team among the top-six Premier League clubs. Both Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi have failed to meet the required standards, often making schoolboy errors and putting the team in harm’s way.

Koscielny has been ruled out with an Achilles injury until Christmas and Mustafi is expected to be done away with as soon as possible. This will definitely open up a guaranteed starting spot for Sokratis who already has two of his former teammates at the North London club – Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Sokratis is a leader and a defender with a lot of top-flight European experience. He is not only capable of securing the Arsenal defence, the Gunners will also be getting a prestigious name for a relatively cheap price.

Sokratis started his career with Greek outfit, AEK Athens but later shone for Serie A side, Genoa. He appeared in 7 senior games for AC Milan and 61 for Werder Bremen.

Read More: Arsenal Linked With A Summer Move For 24 Y/O PL Ace: Where Can He Fit Into Their Squad?

The Greek international is ready to pounce on the challenges of the Premier League after spending the majority of his career development period in Germany and Italy and Arsenal can give him the right opportunity to do so.

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