As well as needing an actual defensive midfielder, Arsenal’s second area of need is probably in the centre of defence.
Whether Calum Chambers and Rob Holding are long-term solutions in the role remains to be seen, but with Per Mertesacker retiring and Laurent Koscielny showing signs of his age, that only leaves the Gunners with Shkodran Mustafi as the experienced man going forward over the next couple of years.
Arsenal have been linked with a number of players over the past year or so, but, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, there’s one man in particular Arsène Wenger is keeping an eye on, and that’s Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
Why are an Italian newspaper reporting an interest from an English club for a Greek centre-back playing in Germany? Because Juventus are also interested.
At least, they were last year, and Gazzetta think that could be renewed in the coming months, as the 29-year-old looks around for a final, trophy winning adventure.
What’s interesting in this is the mention of Arsenal’s interest.
Normally, in these kind of stories, Italian newspaper throw names into the mix because someone, somewhere (normally in England) wrote a story about the player month or so ago.
Take Manchester United, for example, they’re also mentioned alongside the Gunners, but that’s explained by a spate of articles from early March linking the Red Devils to Sokratis.
Arsenal? There’s been nothing since last year.
Whether an agent has let something slip, we’ll have to wait and see, but it’s worth pointing out Sokratis has history in Italy, having played for both AC Milan and Genoa during his career prior to moving to Germany.