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This £19.8m-rated defender could be Arsenal’s perfect long-term partner for Shkodran Mustafi

The Arsenal fans have been feeling positive in the Transfer Tavern of late due to their impressive form in the Europa League.

Now that Arsenal have been cut adrift of the top-four in the Premier League, winning the Europa League represents their only realistic chance of qualifying for the Champions League this season, so it’s no wonder the supporters were so delighted by their 4-1 victory over CSKA Moscow last Thursday. However, the Gunners faithful propping up are bar are adamant that their success in Europe will not make up for their domestic shortcomings so far this season.

There has been plenty of discussion regarding the future of Arsene Wenger once again this season, and until he eventually leaves the club it seems unlikely that it will disappear as a core topic of conversation amongst fans of the Premier League. But regardless of who is in charge of the club next season, there’s no doubt that Arsenal need to make a handful of signings to bridge the gulf in class between themselves and the top-four.

With to consider, the supporters should be pleased by reports emerging from Gazzetta Dello Sport (via The Sun) which claim Arsenal are set to make a bid for Sokratis Papasthopoulous in the summer. The Greek international (valued at £19.8 million by Transfermarkt) has been an ever-present at the heart of Dortmund’s defence so far this season, and he has even captained the side of plenty of occasions both domestically and in Europe.

Now that Laurent Koscielny is 32-years-old, Arsenal need to start looking towards the future to identify a centre-back who can succeed the Frenchman alongside Shkodran Mustafi. Koscielny has been a loyal servant for the Gunners during a spell which is set to reach 8 years this summer, but eventually, he will have to call time on a successful career in North-London to pave way for a younger successor.

Sokratis himself is turning 30 this summer, so Arsenal should not commit to a deal which extends beyond 3 seasons, but his age should not deter the club from making a bid for his services. Sokratis is a reliable centre-back who boasts a physically commanding presence and a decent technical ability, so he would undoubtedly be a quality option to have in the Arsenal squad.

With European experience at a handful of elite clubs throughout his career, Sokratis would have no problem settling in at Arsenal, and considering Mustafi will need a new centre-back partner in the imminent future, Wenger should do everything he can to bring him to the Emirates Stadium next season.

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Article title: This £19.8m-rated defender could be Arsenal’s perfect long-term partner for Shkodran Mustafi

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