According to reports from BBC Sport’s David Ornstein, Arsenal are reportedly closing in on making Sokratis Papastathopoulous their first transfer of the summer under new boss Unai Emery. The North London club have reportedly been in constant talk with the player’s representative in recent weeks and a £16m deal is likely to be completed very soon.
Arsenal had a torrid 201718 season where the club averaged less than one point on the road and much of this was as a result of their poor defensive record which saw them concede over 50 goals for the first time under Arsene Wenger era.
As such, the club’s chief appear to have highlighted the club’s need for a new backline for the 2018/19 season and head of recruitment Sven Mislintat has been installed to be in-charge of transfer, though Emery has the right to sanction any move.
As per the BBC journalist, the Gunners are closing in announcing the Dortmund defender as their first signing of the summer window with the Greek international tipped to join the club in a reported £16m deal.
Right from Wenger’s last season in charge of the club, Arsenal were highly ridiculed for their reluctance to strengthen their team and they are now in more of a compulsion to spend following Per Mertesacker’s retirement and long-term injury to Laurent Koscielny.
32-year-old Koscielny, suffered a serious Achilles problem during the final month of the Premier League season against Atletico Madrid and this has ruled the French international out of action until December at least.
While Arsenal fans would want to see the club moving for tough candidate to replace Koscielny, Papastathopoulous would come into the Gunners team with valuable experience and leadership skills which have often been missed within the current squad recently.