Arsene Wenger always insisted that he preferred experienced centre-backs at Arsenal and believed that their careers were longer than forwards as they didn’t need so much pace or use so much energy. I’m not sure whether that worked out so well with Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny, but it would appear that the new regime at the Emirates is going to continue that policy.
It has already been revealed that the Gunners are trying to sign the 34 year-old free agent Stefan Lichsteiner from Juventus, and, according to the BBC’s David Ornstein, we are close to bringing in the 29 year old Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Dortmund.
Ornstein tweeted yesterday:
As per @JackPittBrooke Arsenal close to signing Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Dortmund. Latest acquisition led by Sven Mislintat, continues drive to rebuild defence/squad with experience/leadership. #AFC prioritising ready players & will integrate youth (eg Mavropanos) over time
— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) May 28, 2018
Obviously our defence is in need of serious upgrading after the disasters of the last campaign, but should we be targetting quite so many veterans to steady the ship? Or should we be letting our younger contingent in Chambers, Holding and Mavropanos to build up long-lasting partnerships over a longer period?