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Arsenal Declined Late PSG Offer For This Defender: Should Arteta Keep Him For The Long Run?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent tweet, journalist Saber Desfarges revealed that Arsenal had declined a late offer from Paris Saint-Germain for Sokratis Papastathopoulos. It is understood that PSG launched an enquiry for the Greek centre-back, but the Gunners have rejected their advances for him this summer.

Sokratis’ Sporadic Role At North London Last Season

The 32-year-old was a sporadic presence in the Arsenal first-team in the previous campaign. Despite the lack of first-team opportunities, Sokratis did well to find the back of the net three times in 29 matches for the Gunners last season in various competitions.

The Greek defensive ace was also a decent contributor on the defensive end of the field as evident from his average of 1.3 tackles, 0.9 interceptions and 3.5 clearances per 90 minutes in the 2019-20 Premier League campaign. He was also a neat distributor of the ball out from the back after completing 87.9% of his attempted passes in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).

At 32, Sokratis doesn’t have too much time left in his playing career, so he needs to ensure more game time in the coming seasons. With less than a year remaining on his current contract, the Greek centre-half would be wise to seek a move elsewhere in search of greener pastures.

Arsenal declined late PSG offer for Sokratis who is seen in the photo
Sokratis Papastathopoulos of Arsenal celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal during the FA Cup Fifth Round match between Portsmouth FC and Arsenal FC at Fratton Park on March 02, 2020, in Portsmouth, England. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

What Are The Greek International’s Best Attributes?

Standing at 1.86m, Sokratis can be a dominant presence at the centre of Mikel Arteta’s defence and can position himself well to make a clearance when being bombarded with crosses by the opposition. He is a decent tackler as well and has also proven his worth as a ball-playing centre-back. However, father time is catching up with Sokratis that has increased his need to earn more first-team starts in the years to come. The 90-time Greek international can sometimes lack the pace to make recovering runs at the back, which can make him a liability on the field.

Should The Gunners Retain Sokratis’ Services For The Long-Run?

At the moment, Sokratis is surplus to requirements at the North London club as he is behind the likes of Gabriel Magalhães, David Luiz, Pablo Mari and Rob Holding in the Arsenal pecking order. Furthermore, he will have to fight it out with Shkodran Mustafi and Calum Chambers in the race to be named in Mikel Arteta’s match-day squad.

All signs point towards Sokratis’ departure from the Emirates Stadium soon. He is living on borrowed time at the English capital, so only time will tell whether the Gunners would let him go right now or else release him when he becomes a free agent next summer. With all things considered, there is no reason for Arteta to keep the experienced Greek defender at the club for the long-run.

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