Arsenal are loading up on the Greek defense train, and if it works well, and Dinos can become Sokratis 2.0, then it’s a resounding success.
There was a moment earlier this year when Sokratis Papastathopoulos said that his younger countryman, Konstantinos Mavropanos, was going to be the better defender in the long run. Even hearing Dinos’s name mentioned, Arsenal fans breathed a sigh of relief.
Doubly so because Sokratis has had a pretty esteemed career at the top level of world football, landing numerous honors at Borussia Dortmund en route to establishing himself as one of the top centerbacks before being phased out and dealt to the Emirates.
It wasn’t necessarily an exciting move until we started to get a grasp of what kind of player that Sokratis was. The kind of player who will literally drag a guy to the ground before getting beat. I kind of like that, and many others do too, simply because Arsenal are so unused to such a player in their ranks.
So hearing Sokratis say that Dinos was going to be even better turned out to be a major talking point. Sokratis isn’t a bulls***er. He’s not going to say something unless he means it. And hearing that he holds Dinos in such high regard was like seeing a month full of great performances by the youngster.
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And yes, I mean that.
Especially after seeing him go down early against Burnley.
As it stands, I would be thrilled if Dinos became Sokratis all over again. My biggest complaint with Sokratis has been that he just doesn’t have much time to establish himself here in North London. He’s on the wrong side of 30 and, in all likelihood, will give us another couple of years at most.
Mavropanos can give us a decade or more. And given that he plays a similar style to Sokratis, mixing Greek wrestling in with traditional defending and harboring no nonsense, it only makes sense that the comparisons can be drawn. Give me a 25-year-old Sokratis when Dinos turns 25 and I will be one happy as hell dude.
He doesn’t even have to be better than Sokratis. Because Sokratis was so fantastic in his own right that doing it all over again, for a longer period of time, is a suitable reward.
Of course, that also means staying healthy. Which right now, Dinos just doesn’t have the luxury of providing. He’s young though. Young people heal quickly, right?