Arsene Wenger may be waving goodbye to Arsenal this summer by the club hierarchy is already busy planning for life after Wenger and are constantly linked with some of the finest stars in Europe, for a move this summer.
One such name, they are reportedly close to signing is Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
Arsenal earmark Papastathopoulos
The Greek defender has just a year left on his contract at the end of the season and Borussia Dortmund are reportedly ready to cash in on him this summer. And reports from Germany now claim that Arsenal are closing in on the signature of Papastathopoulos this summer.
The story claims that Sven Mislintat is pushing for a deal for the 29-year old and that Arsenal could end up paying £18m for his services this summer.
Papastathopoulos And His History
Having started his youth career at AEK Athens, Papastathopoulos moved to Italy and then to Germany before settling down at Westfalenstadion back in 2013. He took no time to establish himself in the first team at Dortmund and has made a minimum of 20 Bundesliga appearances in every season he has been at the club.
He has two goals in 27 league starts for the club and his 42 appearances in all competitions this season is the most he has played in a season since he moved to Dortmund. He is also a crucial part of the Greek national side, making 79 appearances till date and is an established defender, at the highest level.
Known for his strength on and off the ball, Papastathopoulos is a dominating presence inside both boxes and is also comfortable with the ball at his feet. He is a decent passer and will help in build-up play while his ability to break up play just outside the box is what makes him all the more dangerous.
At 29, he is one of the most experienced centre-backs in Germany at the moment and will be a decent coup for Arsenal.
Where Does He Fit In?
The Gunners have used Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny regularly this season but neither of them has been consistent. But both players are expected to stay at the club beyond the summer, leaving Papastathopoulos to fight for a place in the first team.
But more importantly, Arsenal are set to lose Per Mertesacker and want to replace his experience with the Greek defender. The likes of Rob Holding and Calum Chambers can continue to act as understudies to the likes of Koscielny and Papastathopoulos making this deal a long-term solution.
At just £17.5m, Papastathopoulos is a decent coup for Arsenal but a lot will depend on who the next manager at the club is. Do you think Papastathopoulos is a good choice for Arsenal?