The Arsenal fans in the Transfer Tavern are looking forward to the summer transfer window where they are anticipating plenty of changes in personnel at the Emirates.
Arsene Wenger’s departure from Arsenal after more than two decades at the helm is undoubtedly going to be the biggest story of the summer with regards to changes in personnel at the club, but recent reports from The Independent suggest that there will be plenty of other stories for our resident Gunners to ponder over during the next few months. According to the report, Arsenal are hoping to transform their defensive unit this summer by signing a new goalkeeper and an entire new defence.
The report cites the shortcomings of Shkodran Mustafi, Laurent Koscielny and Peter Cech as key reasons for their transfer policy. Sven Mislintat has already used his past experience with Borussia Dortmund to lure both Henrik Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyanng to the club since he became Arsenal’s head of recruitment, but there is a suggestion he is not finished raiding his former side just yet.
The Independent believe that Mislintat has prioritised the signing of a new centre-back, and more specifically Dortmund’s Sokratis Papastathopoulos (valued at £19.8 million by Transfermarkt) this summer. The Greek international has been an ever-present force at the heart of Dortmund’s defence this season and has captained the side in Marcel Schmelzer’s absence.
Sokratis is physically imposing, an intelligent reader of the game and tidy in possession, so he is well-equipped to adapt to the Premier League and install solidity into a leaky Arsenal defence. At 29-years-old, Sokratis is well within his prime and has plenty of experience to bring to the table, which could prove useful whilst mentoring his fellow compatriot Konstantinos Mavropanos who recently made his league debut at Old Trafford.
There’s no doubt that Arsenal need to significantly bolster their defensive options during the summer window during a period of major upheaval for the club. Signing Sokratis would be a fantastic place to start, so Mislintat needs to work his magic once again this summer and make a strong case for his acquisition to Arsenal’s hierarchy.
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