Why Borussia Dortmund’s Sokratis Papastathopoulos Would Be A Great Addition To The Manchester United Squad
Manchester United are currently having their best season of the post-Ferguson era. Thanks to the leadership of Jose Mourinho, the Red Devils have been the second best team in England this season, bettered only by their high flying neighbours Manchester City.
While Mourinho has still received a lot of criticism due to his seemingly ineffective attacking line, we have to give credit to the Portuguese mastermind for transforming a bunch of baffled defenders into a formidable unit.
The Red Devils have the meanest defence in the league this season, conceding only 19 goals in 27 matches. However, that being said, the recent performances of defenders Phil Jones and Chris Smalling have earned a lot of criticism from fans and experts alike and if various reports from English media are to be believed, both the defenders could leave the Old Trafford this summer.
New signing Victor Lindelof hasn’t been convincing in his debut season in the Premier League, meaning head coach Jose Mourinho might be willing to sign another centre-back this summer should Phil Jones and Chris Smalling depart United.
Although there are many candidates available in the current market, only a few could match the credentials of Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
Following the departure of defensive gem Mats Hummels to Bayern in 2016, Sokratis has been Dortmund’s most important defender.
The Greek was instrumental in Dortmund’s success in the 2015/16 and 2016/17 seasons under Thomas Tuchel, where the black and yellows were the best second-placed team in the Bundesliga history. That was followed by a DFB Cup triumph last season.
However, the former AC Milan defender has struggled to impose his authority under Peter Bosz, often finding it difficult to cope with the incredibly high defensive line. While his performances have significantly improved under new boss Peter Stoger, the Greek has performed below par, largely down to Dortmund’s style of play.
Sokratis’ current contract expires at the end of next season and the former Bremen defender might be on his way out of the Signal Iduna Park this summer, despite Dortmund’s initial wish to keep the player.
Highly known for his robust style of play, Sokratis is a no-nonsense defender who is perfectly suited to the tactical philosophy of Jose Mourinho.
Although he is not known for his build-up qualities, Sokratis can always be an imposing presence in the defensive department. His sheer physicality coupled with his incredible tenacity is tailor-made for Manchester United’s defence-oriented gameplay. Therefore, the Greek International could be an ideal partner for Eric Bailly in the Man United defence.
Furthermore, his robust style of play is perfectly in keeping with the Premier League’s high-paced football while the 29-year-old is not expected to cost a fortune either. The defender is valued at €22m and considering the fact that his contract is quickly running out, he won’t even cost his actual value, which is barely a snip in today’s market, even more so for Manchester United.
Sokratis is already one of Bundesliga’s best defenders and it will definitely be interesting to see him in a Red Devils kit next season, especially after a mediocre season at Dortmund.