Arsene Wenger’s glorious realm in North London finally came to its conclusion on Sunday afternoon when the Gunners defeated Huddersfield Town on the road and handed their legendary Frenchman a fitting farewell despite a disappointing campaign.
Wenger’s successor at Emirates is yet to be decided, but the veteran gaffer is leaving a decent squad behind – particularly an amazing attacking third and some proper investment at the back might transform them into a ‘top four’ contender yet again. Laurent Koscielny had a series of erroneous outings whereas Shkodran Mustafi failed to perform persistently in the heart of Gunners backline. Per Mertesacker has hung up his boots and the other defensive options ( Calum Chambers, Konstantinos Mavropanos, and Rob Holding) are too young to carry the legacy ahead. Arsenal, therefore, need reinforcements in central defence and the signing of Borussia Dortmund centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos might prove to be an instant solution considering their current status.
The Greece international will be 30 before next season, but still has a few years of top-order football left in him and a fee as low as €15-20m will be an excellent business considering the break down of transfer talks at BVB. His current deal is set to expire next summer and the club is now reportedly keen on offloading the veteran whom they tied down from Werder Bremen for a fee of €10m five seasons back. Although he is drawing interest from several other English sides and Serie A outfits, a reunion with ex-teammate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at Emirates is now best-placed in the bookies’ books.
Sokratis is known for his towering presence at the back with physicality and hard tackling traits. His concentration, as well as tenacity, are the attributes the Gunners have been lacking of late and the desperate need of defensive augmentation might finally see the experienced ace making his maiden Premier League move.