Wed. Aug 4th, 2021

The latest word stemming from the Italian media suggests that Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos is set for an imminent move to Napoli.

Arsenal stint

Greek stopper Sokratis has been plying his trade in north London for the last two seasons.

After arriving at the Emirates from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2018, the 32-year-old quickly went on to establish himself as a key contributor under former boss Unai Emery.

All told, across his debut campaign in Arsenal’s colours, Sokratis racked up 38 starts across all competitions.

The early months of the current campaign, meanwhile, saw the veteran continue to act as a central member of the Gunners’ defensive ranks, with Sokratis having been trusted from the off in all of the club’s first 11 Premier League fixtures.

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 05: David Luiz of Arsenal discusses with Sokratis of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 05, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Since then, however, things have taken a turn for the worse for the former AC Milan man.

Across Arsenal’s final 27 league outings of the season, Sokratis was handed just 8 starts.

The arrival of Mikel Arteta at the Emirates directly coincided with the stopper’s dip in playing time, with all of David Luiz, Pablo Mari, Shkodran Mustafi and Rob Holding seemingly ahead of Sokratis in the Spaniard’s central defensive pecking order.

Napoli bound?

As such, with William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes having since added to Arsenal’s plethora of options at centre-half, it has come as little surprise to see Sokratis widely tipped to be on the move this summer.

Arsenal’s long-standing financial difficulties have of course been well documented in the media, meaning securing any sort of reasonable fee for a heavily out-of-favour 32-year-old defender would no doubt come as a welcome boost.

If the latest speculation emerging in Italy today is to be believed, however, then the Gunners instead appear ready to simply move Sokratis on for free.

In fact, as per a report from Neapolitan outlet Il Mattino, a Napoli switch for the Greek is already ‘a done deal’.

It is added that the move will come in the form of a free transfer, under the assumption that a contract termination in north London is imminent.

Sokratis is expected to put pen-to-paper on a 2-year deal at the Stadio San Paolo, worth €3.5 million per season.

Aston Villa test Arsenal’s resolve with ‘substantially’ improved Martinez bid/Arteta in Rob Holding ‘U-Turn’

Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood issues apology after breaching Covid-19 protocol whilst on international duty