Arsene Wenger reportedly believes he can acquire Olympiakos defender Kostas Manolas in a £6million deal this summer in a bid to strengthen his depleting backline.
According to The Mirror, the Gunners are thought to be closing in on the player who made an impression at the World Cup after a string of impressive performances for Greece
At 23-years-old he represents and interesting option for Wenger who is looking to replace the departed Thomas Vermaelen and provide competition for the likes of Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and new boy Calum Chambers.
Style of Play:
His strength, awareness and talent on the ball makes him the full package in terms of a centre back. His current playing style relies hugely on physicality and like Laurent Koscielny in his first couple of years he demonstrates signs of solid ability but he is apparently prone to the odd error. This is something which can be cut out of his game as he is only 23, but not an ideal trait to be known for.
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His defensive displays at the World Cup were very impressive and is what basically put him on the map this summer. He played in every minute of Greece’s games in Brazil, winning 75% of his tackles and 71% of his aerial duels during the tournament.
A quick look at his Champions League stats offers something comparable to the Gunners backline. He won 62.3% of his total duels and 64% of aerial duels, he’s pretty much spot on with Laurent Koscielny who managed 61.2% and 65% respectively but Mertesacker trounced them and was into the 70’s for both.
The 23-year-old also offers a goal threat going forward, last campaign he managed to net twice in his seven Champions League appearances.
Should we Buy?
He is not a bad option, but we should be going for someone who is a little more proven. Certainly on paper he seems a decent buy but Manolas has not been tested at the highest level consistently and we would be buying him purely off his performances for Greece at the World Cup.
Manchester City have put Matija Nastasic up for sale and although he is more expensive at around £12million, he would be a far more suitable replacement than Vermaelen as he has plenty of top tier experience.
We cannot afford any risks and Nastasic seems the safer option – more on the Serb later.
Rumour Rater: 3/5
1 – Never going to happen
2 – Unlikely
3 – Could be possible
4 – Likely
5 – Done deal
Share your thoughts in the comments below.