Sokratis linked with Napoli switch

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As rumours circle that Arsenal are close to completing a deal for Lille’s Gabriel Magalhães, it becomes ever more obvious that we’re going to need to shift a few defenders.

As things stand, we’re incredibly bloated at centre-back with William Saliba, David Luiz, Pablo Mari, Shkodran Mustafi, Rob Holding, Calum Chambers, Dinos Mavropanos and Sokratis all on the books at the moment.

While three of the above (Mari, Mustafi & Chambers) are injured and Mavropanos is out on loan, it’s still too many.

It’s therefore little surprise to hear that Sokratis, who barely featured after the lockdown, is being linked with an exit. His possible destination? Napoli. 

It certainly makes sense. The Italian side is one of the clubs being linked with Gabriel but will have to look elsewhere if they are pipped to his signing by us. Why not cheer them up with a Greek takeaway?

At 32, the Greek seems a good fit for Serie A; a league that he played in for four years with both Genoa and AC Milan. Vastly experienced, and likely to come cheap given he’s in the final year of his contract at the Emirates, he’d burnish any squad looking for a bit of grit and determination at the back.

Come on lads, take him. You know you want to.

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Qwaliteee

Yep, get rid.

Good player, just not at the standard required of a club like The Arsenal.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

A club competing for CL every year?

Qwaliteee

Heh. That’s where we should be. Why mock Arsenal fans for wanting better?

Interestingly. Arsenal and Napoli have had very similar seasons in their respective domestic leagues. Both teams didn’t finish in the Champions and Europa League spots. Both teams instead qualified for the Europa League by winning cup competitions

Both teams sacked and replace their managerial staff during the. mid-season.

If you ask me Sokratis is a perfect fit for Napoli?.

uberated

Hahahahaha… awesome sales pitch

Runcorn Gooner

And he will have the added bonus of Ospina behind him.

thw14

If we pip them to Gabriel and shift Sokratis to them in the same window, I might finally move on from Higuain.

Of course, the way this club operates, Gabby M would then leave the Greek Terminator open on a corner to concede the deciding goal in the Europa League semi-final.

So que sera, really.

OdalGooner

If nothing else, he deserves to play. He seems likeable. Not the worlds greatest defender, but works hard. I like him. He’s a big feller, which is good if he’s moving to Napoli. Not so much the club, but the city. I’m not going to make any hints or references to Luca Brasi, who also played for a well known south italian outfit… *ahem* Napoli is close to home, he can just catch the ferry and he’s in Greece, and Italy in such dire circumstances financially, that he’ll get a lot for his money. Either way, I hope he goes… Read more »

Biggles

Yes, he should be given a chance to play. You do put your finger on a big problem though by saying “… he’s not the world’s greatest defender…”This is true (to say the least) and raises the question why we have gone for quantity rather than quality in centre backs. We have amassed a large collection of mostly very average players – very few of whom would get into the leading club’s squads. Less is more in the quality vs quantity debate. Hopefully, Arteta can change this, he needs to.

OdalGooner

Very true – I’m also not the worlds greatest logistics specialist, but I still work 70 hours a week for 37 hour pay, hate every second of it, and I keep doing it because so do my colleagues, and we’re in it together. There’s only very few “best defender in the world” players, and if I was one of them, our beloved club, in its current state of backroom disarray, would not be on my shortlist. Sadly. But that’s the truth of it. He’s not the greatest defender in the world. And, despite the song, we’re not the greatest team… Read more »

Pakgooner

Nah. Arsenal Football Club is the greatest club the world has ever seen. Best believe it bud

Goonsquad

Maybe change anymore for just at the moment?

OdalGooner

I’ll wait, and happily change it to “again” and some point 🙂 I thought I had given enough love by stating that we *were* infact the greatest team in the world at one point 🙂 There’s nothing in me that needs my team to be the best. Just one I can be proud of. Billions of fans, thousands of clubs.. the odds seem slim. But hey – I can play the hopeless romantic and say “Just wait, Arteta will have us going 49 games starting in January 21”. I don’t really think so – and it’s not really something that… Read more »

BillyKrystal

They really love their grizzled 32 year old defenders there don’t they? That’s when your career just starts as a defender in Italy. Napoli are a fun team and I’m sure he’d add to it.

bobbo

His shit housing alone will add to the fun of their team.

jw1

That’s why I’ve always liked him.
Usually gave more than he got.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Yes, during the FA Cup final when he was coming in to replace Luiz, it seemed they were going to change their mind and keep Luiz. I was thinking : Please do not humiliate this dignified man.

FabulousFabregas

And also the Manolas angle seems to make it work.Having two Greek centerbacks who play for the national team is really helpful.Hopefuply,it goes through.

Torterrier

I’ll miss him because of his tackle celebrations, and his shithousery. A great guy, not an amazing defender but a very good one. Totally understand why he needs to be moved on now.

Hantal

He’s exactly the kind of ‘good’ player a title chase side needs

Torterrier

In an ideal world I would like Arsenal to keep Sokratis, but we need to move on some defenders and with so many injuries Sokratis is one of the only defenders we can sell at the moment.

Downing O'Toole

We won’t chase a title any time soon.

Cranky Colin

Haha……..way more reliable than Luiz………but gone.
I liked him.

Con

He’s actually quite a good player…

Anonymarse

Not the worst we’ve had by any stretch

Biggles

I guess the benchmark is whether he (or any of our centre back society) could get into the squads of the leading teams? I doubt it and that’s the task Arteta has – to get a squad together capable of challenging those teams week in and week out over a season, not just in spurts. Sokratis tried his best but the quality isn’t really there (not just him, of course) which is why we haven’t challenged.

jw1

Much of it had to do with the on/off guy playing next to him.
Papa has enough quality to do his job.
Not enough to do his and #20’s too.

Dr. kNOw

True, just the worst with the ball at his feet. Considering that inviting pressure to play out from the back is a preferred tactic, he’s a disaster waiting to happen. He doesn’t fit, purely from a technical perspective.

At Napoli, he’d join a good club playing in a strong league but better suitedto veterans, alongside a compatriot in Manolas, and be closer to home. Give Arsenal £10m+ and everyone’s a winner.

Con

Spot on

Biggles

Why do you think that in the current depressed market, a club would pay “£10million+” for a 32 year old, pretty average player let’s face it, in the last year of his contract? If the positions were reversed, would you want Arsenal to buy such a player on those terms? I suspect Arsenal will just want to get him (and his wages of course) off the books. If we get a small fee thrown in then all the better, but £10million+ !!! Don’t think so.

Dr. kNOw

1. He’s in top shape, and one of the fastest players in the squad.
2. He’s linked to a league that is famed for prolonging the careers of veterans that can perform.
3. Considering he’s previously spent 4 years there, I don’t think he’ll have a problem.
4. Given all of the above, he could have another 4 years there, maybe more.
5. He’s going in as Koulibaly’s replacement (possibly alongside a younger option), where they will expect a considerable windfall. They will pay.
6. Given all of the above, I’d expect at least £10m.

Scwibble

Not a bad player by any means, did well during his time here. But I hope he goes just so we can streamline our squad. Big Papa always looked after his teammates.

Tommmy

I’ve enjoyed his time at Arsenal. Alongside Kos he looked great, and brought that tough side we lacked.
If we can get 5/6m would be lovely as we rebuild.
Thanks Sok and good luck

Merlin’s Panini

Well that sounds like a good move for him if possible. He’s a decent no frills defender but not quite at the level we needed to progress. I felt he received more stick than warranted sometimes given his errors were not as bad as those of some others.
I wish him well if he does go.
I’ll always remember if beautiful smile…

Biggles

Good news for both parties if it goes through. Despite all the speculation, we’ve yet to offload anyone but we’ll have to move quite a few in this window if Arteta wants to carry out his re-structuring. Also, Arsenal collect centre backs (mostly very average ones at best) like some people collect stamps, as the article suggests. Sokratis should certainly be one of our “CB legion” to depart, at least we’ll save on wages. Fingers crossed.

Hantal

I like him, he added a bit of bastard when we needed it. Surprised he hasn’t played more for Arteta given his general attitude seems positive

Javoroncov

He’s a fine defender, it’s just that he’s old school: he is uncomfortable with the ball. The modern defender is a ball-playing one, defending skill is just a plus

Steve

He wears his heart on his sleeve and knows where row Z is, not the best but could stop those that were

OdalGooner

Wonderfully put!

Jacob

Like him a lot, decent in the air and so deceptively quick across the ground, but clearly not in the managers plans.

If the bells and gerbils are to be believed that we want to throw 50 million pounds at Partey, we’re gonna have to shift players that I like a lot more than Big Papa. Hope he does well there.

ozymandias

Var ended his career

Goonerink

Honestly so surprised that Luiz has the worse card record. Everytime sok gets angry he’s all hands in the face and I’ve seen numerous red cards by the book that we got away with.

DaDude

Really funny that everybody said that before the season.
Yet the one VAR incident I remember connected to him was vs Palace and our disallowed 3rd goal, where supposedly Sokratis fouled someone in the opposite box, but he wasn’t even near an opponent in the footage they showed. So either the VAR people had access to other footage or are corrupt to the bone.

Vaibhav Pandey

He is a good traditional defender but not good on the ball. Means he will struggle when teams try to build up play from the back. That is the reason why Holding will be sold too and that is the reason why Mari has been signed (Maybe we will keep Chambers only because of this skill). He just doesn’t fit Arteta’s style of play but I liked in no-nonsense approach to defending and his pace to catch attackers.

Tekkers

Good player, just doesn’t take Artetas fancy. He’s more agricultural than Arteta likes. Always gave 100% and was up for a scrap unlike some of his peers. Enjoyed his time at the club purely from a shithousery point of view. I’d personally liked to have seen him play in a back four under Arteta but in Arteta we trust. Can’t remember him making any calamatous mistakes to be fair.

Modha

I’ll be honest, I’ve always had a soft spot for Papa, I think he brings something we are missing elsewhere, and that is some grade a shithousery.

Stevorama

Just watched highlights of the 2006 Real vs Arsenal match which we won 1-0. We had Stepanovs in defence that night. Sokratis really isn’t a bad player when you think about it….

Agree that we need to clear out some defenders though, if he goes I wish him well.

Stevorama

Gah – Senderos I mean…!

Dave cee

Senderos was part of a CL record clean sheet run, with Flamini at LB, playing for a Wenger Arsenal team. Hard to believe, but true

A Different George

And was a regular starter for a pretty good Switzerland.

jw1

Wrapping up his career here in Houston for the Dynamo last season– Senderos, the big lug, banged in 4G in 8 apps.

Stevorama

Indeed! I think Kolo and Lehman had a lot to do with that as well. Not to mention Gilberto screening in front.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Senderos was good on his days especially in the air. The only thing is that he just starts sweating and panicking whenever he had to face Drogba (Gallas said this on a french sport show). Senderos gave an interview where he said he remained an active supporter of the club and actually knew about every little details just like us.

LEFT08

Sokratis is a top guy, with the perfect attitude and character for any team. Unfortunately he is not at the level required for an Arsenal defender. The likes of Adams, Campbell, Bould, Keown and Toure have worn the shirt after all.

Public Elneny

Tbf he probably would have fit in very well in the Adams, Bould, Keown era, when CBs could tussle a bit more and didn’t have to worry about playing out from the back

Ray Parlour's ice cream van
David Hilliers Arm Cast

He has the best song hands down (eat your kids and steal your wife!) and I loved nothing more than to watch him put his weight around on the pitch. Shame to see him go but would make sense.

loose_cannon

Should be a very decent player in a different kind of team, could see him being dominant in a gritty low-block defence. But we need quick, ball-playing CBs to get back to an attacking and expansive style of play. Hope it works out for him wherever he goes.

Dave cee

Lol, aren’t we needing grit and determination at the back? Seriously though, he has been a dependable performer for us. Seeing him shunted to RB and then onto the bench makes it clear that he doesn’t fit into the profile of CB that Mikel wants to use. Given he is getting on and on pretty big wages, and isn’t crocked, it makes a lot of sense that he would be one of the players the Club is looking to move on to free up funds and squad spaces. I won’t eulogise his time with us, I personally think we overpaid… Read more »

Cannon Balls

Maybe Napoli will make us an offer we can’t refuse…

Phil

Decent enough defender, but not particularly well suited to the style of play Arteta wants to bring. That, on top of the fact we simply have to cut down our CB ranks, means he’s top of the pile to go.

Realistically it would be good to end up with Saliba and Gabriel as our two young potential stars, Mari and Luiz providing some experience, and one of Chambers, Holding and Mustafi adding cover. That’s on the assumption we want to move to a back four…

Berlingoon

I like him as a character but it’s obvious that Arteta doesn’t rate him so moving him on, with the amount of cb’s we have, is common sense.
But I’d wish we’d try to sell more players to PL clubs as you can expect more money from them as from the always broke Italian sides.
But the most important thing is probably to get his wages off the books, so I’d be happy with it nevertheless.

Biggles

I agree, but with the current Covid/recession implications I doubt many Premiership teams, possibly even the few “usual suspects”, will be splashing lots of dosh. The big problem Arsenal have – which is not new to last season – is we have a lot of highly paid, average (sometimes very average, to be polite) players on our books. We can’t shift them because they won’t leave for a pay cut – can’t blame them, of course. And their “average” ability doesn’t exactly have clubs queuing up to buy them anyway. A classic lose – lose situation for the club that… Read more »

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

I’m just as excited about players going out as I am about any coming in. Just goes to show how many bad players we have.

Biggles

Yep, it’s taken quite a few seasons of hard work to build up such an “average” squad (on the whole, there a few exceptions). One thing’s for sure, unless we can offload several, there won’t be many coming the other way. Saying it is far easier than doing it though.

Heavy Gunner

I’ve got this lovely picture somewhere on my computer of Papa towering with raised arms over a very despondant ‘Arry Kane! Love Papa- the Greek who bites heads off of goats- gonna miss you! Malaka…

So-crates

Who wouldn’t want someone they like to get the opportunity to live in Naples? Great place for a 32 year old veteran. I still smile thinking of him fighting with Ashley Barnes 🙂 I wish all our players played with that commitment every game.

Super Joshi

I’d like his welcoming press conference to begin with him saying “fun is back.”

Yazeed

Napoli will definitely benefit getting him as they will then have a Greek partnership with Kostas Manolas. What a centreback partnership those two will make !!!!!!!

Yazeed

If we can get 25 million for him and mustafi together it would finance the deal for gabriel