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Do it Arteta – This is the time for Arsenal to get rid of 32-year-old frozen out star

WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: Sokratis Papastathopoulos of Arsenal FC looks on during the Papa John's Trophy Second Round match between AFC Wimbledon and Arsenal U21 at Plough Lane on December 08, 2020 in Wimbledon, England. (Photo by James Chance/Getty Images)

Why Arsenal should cash in on Sokratis amid interest

According to claims from Football London (h/t The Sun), out-of-favour Arsenal defender Sokratis has emerged as a target for Greek giants Olympiacos during the January transfer window. 

The 32-year-old centre-back hasn’t made a single competitive appearance for the Gunners so far this season after being omitted from Mikel Arteta’s Premier League and Europa League squads. Sokratis’ last senior outing for the club came against Chelsea back in the FA Cup final last season. 

As per the report, Fenerbahce and Serie A outfit Napoli are also interested in luring Sokratis away from North London before the end of this month. It is understood that Arsenal are also willing to part ways with the Greek international, whose contract is due to expire at the end of the season. 

Sokratis (Getty Images)
Sokratis hasn’t made a single first-team appearance for Arsenal this season (Getty Images)

Sokratis joined Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2018. The centre-back featured as one of the mainstays of the Gunners backline under former manager Unai Emery, racking up 40 appearances across all competitions in his debut season at the Emirates.

However, injuries and a lack of consistency limited him to just 29 appearances under Arteta last term. 

The Greek stalwart has suffered a drastic fall from grace this season after being completely frozen out of the squad. Sokratis has simply gathered dust, training with the club’s U-23 side and making appearances in the Premier League 2 and Football League Trophy. That’s certainly a massive downgrade for someone who had been a regular fixture for Arsenal at the back over the past couple of campaigns. 

Sokratis (L) in action against Napoli (Getty Images)
Sokratis (L) in action against Napoli (Getty Images)

Putting things into context, Arsenal sanctioning a sale for Sokratis in the winter market would be a fair settlement for all parties involved. Bringing in reinforcements should be high on the club’s agenda as they look to get things back on track after a dismal first half of the campaign.

But Arteta also needs to start clearing up the deadwood to make room for new arrivals and the Greek star certainly falls in that bracket. 

In truth, Sokratis has never really been able to live up to the expectations at Arsenal. He might have made 69 appearances over the past two seasons but always looked like a defender well past his prime.

The centre-back dominated the Bundesliga during his impressive spell at Borussia Dortmund but he probably arrived in the Premier League a bit too late in his career.

Sokratis | In my own words | Feature | News | Arsenal.com

 

Verdict

Arsenal should take whatever fee they receive from Sokratis’ sale this month as a bonus. That would certainly serve them better than losing him for free in the summer.

The 32-year-old hasn’t been anywhere close to the first-team this season and with so many players ahead of him in the pecking order, his career in North London looks well and truly over. 

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The Gunners have already shipped out Sead Kolasinac on loan. A potential departure for Sokratis, to that end, would represent another step in the right direction as Arteta bids to trim his squad and get rid of the outcasts.

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game.

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