Manchester United head coach Jose Mourinho is reportedly keen on securing the signature of Sokratis Papastathopoulos, according to reports in Germany. Following a mixed season, the Portuguese mastermind is keen to strengthen his defensive department this summer and has identified the Borussia Dortmund defender as a perfect candidate to partner alongside Eric Bailly next season.
Sokratis, who is also courted by Premier League rivals Arsenal, has been a subject of a lot of transfer interest in recent months, despite a disappointing season with Borussia Dortmund. Even though the Greek international is highly regarded as one of the best defenders in the Bundesliga, Sokratis’ performances, since the departure of Mats Hummels have been very mixed.
Manchester United, on the other hand, are keen to secure the services of a world-class defender with both Phil Jones and Chris Smalling being on the verge of leaving Old Trafford this summer. Both the English centre-backs have been highly inconsistent in their performances, which has left Mourinho frustrated, time and time again, throughout his stint with Manchester United so far.
Therefore, the addition of Sokratis could prove to be a good move for the Red Devils, who will be eager to find a good partner for Eric Bailly in central defence.
Rock solid at the back, Sokratis is arguably one of the strongest defenders in Europe. His sheer physical prowess gives him the upper hand when it comes to defending. He is also very good at breaking up play with some aggressive pressing while a never-say-die attitude is perfect for a team like Manchester United. His dogged defending coupled with his ability to lead from the front has already been widely appreciated in Germany. In truth, Sokratis is someone who is tailor-made to thrive in the Premier League.
That being said, there are a few obvious drawbacks to his game, which have been highly reflected in his performances this season. First and foremost, the Greek international is awful in passing whilst being equally ineffective in possession.
He often becomes tentative with the ball and always runs the risk of giving away possession very cheaply. In addition, Sokratis was also criticized for his lack of positioning sense, which in particular, proved detrimental under Peter Bosz, in the first half of the season for Borussia Dortmund.
However, considering the fact that the Greek international is someone who can thrive in the Premier League and even more so in Manchester United, largely due to his style of play, the Red Devils should definitely make a move for the 29-year old as they look to pose a strong challenge to their noisy neighbours for the title next season.