“He is a man of courage who does not run away, but remains at his post and fights against the enemy” Socrates
Arsenal are being heavily linked with Sokratis Papastathopoulos, a central defender who will turn 30 in a few weeks time and currently plays for B Dortmund. BBC’s Ornstein is reporting Arsenal are in talks with the German team (who finished fourth last season), and that often means that we are close in getting the player.
Who is Sokratis Papastathopoulos?
He played 50 games in all competitions last season for BD, and he played almost 200 (198) games in 5 years – an average of 40 games per season – for Dortmund since joining them in 2013. In total Sokratis played just under 400 games, and his career as a regular player only really started when he joined Werder Bremen in 2011 after spells at Genoa and Milan.
The Greek is 186cm tall and has some fine, albeit not top of the German league, defensive stats: 86.9% pass success percentage in the Bundesliga (94.2% in CL), and 2.8 aerials won, 2.2 tackles, 63.4 passes and 3.5 clearances per game. The video below gives us an idea of how he plays:
He appears to have a healthy aggression and a mean and well-timed tackle. It looks like he plays on the right hand side – Mustafi’s position – of the centre of defence. At an estimated £16m – only one year of his contract left – Sokratis offers experience at top level and he would allow the likes of Chambers, fellow countryman Mavropanos, Mustafi and Holding to develop further, and possibly take over from him gradually.
If it were to go through, the question remains whether we will buy another CB this summer. Doubt remain re Mustafi’s abilities to claim a first team position next season and Koz is out till the end 2018 (or there about). Who of the above mentioned players would be the ideal partner for Sokratis as long as Koz is unfit? Or will Elneny, who surprisingly got the nr.4 shirt for next season, be slotted next to the Sokratis? You have heard it here first! 🙂