Arsenal have been after a top-class centre-half for a while and the Greek giant would improve their back like immeasurably...
Kyriakos Papadopoulos: Bundesliga Expert On Arsenal’s Latest Target…
A Brief History
Papadopoulos was first introduced to the scene when he was snapped up by Olympiacos from his hometown side in Greece, and he was quick to be included in the first team. At just 15 years of age Papadopoulos became the youngest player ever to play in the Greek League.
His natural strength and dominance in the air led him to making nine first team league appearances and winning five major trophies in Piraeus before signing a long term deal at Bundesliga outfit Schalke.
He soon found himself as a first team regular under Felix Magath and the fans took to him as one of their own, and in his debut season he helped his teammates collect the DFB-Pokal and the DFL-Supercup after a penalty shootout with Ruhr Derby rivals Borussia Dortmund.
However, it was the 2011/12 season where he really made us stand up and take notice. In total, the Greek made 47 appearances, including international games, and scored seven goals, showing that the constant stories rumouring him with a move to Manchester did not deter his fine form.
The start of the 2012/13 season went well for the bullish defender and he opened his season account in Schalke’s first home game of the season – a 3-1 victory over Augsburg. However, after a virus kept him out for a number of games Papadopoulos was then forced to go under the knife in attempts to correct his knee injury which he picked up in a 3-1 loss away at Hamburg in November 2012. He did, however, manage to take part on his side’s narrow 1-0 victory over Papadopoulos’ former club Olympiacos a few days prior.
In his 10 Bundesliga games last campaign, Papadopoulos scored one goal, had a pass success of 89% and a whopping 83% of his duels went his way.
Style of Play
Papadopoulos is the type of defender that everyone dreads going toe-to-toe with. His domineering presence at the back is largely due to his beefy torso and his no nonsense style of play, but he is also surprisingly nimble with the ball at his feet as shown by his pass success.
He has remarkable positional sense for someone who has only just turned 21, and his impeccable timing and decision making abilities are two substantial reasons why he is so highly sought after. From his 37 attempted tackles in the German topflight this term he was successful in 36, putting proof to the pudding, so to speak.
Every player has his flaws, and Papadopoulos is no different. The brute strength and bullish frame sometimes leaves him chasing shadows against the nippier forwards and this has often led him to commit niggly fouls. However, the more games he plays at the top level the more it will benefit him in the capacity.
There has been a ridiculous amount of interest in the defender ever since he joined the ranks of Olympiakos as a fresh-faced teenager.
Manchester United have been linked with the stopper in the past but with Phil Jones flourishing and Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans and Vidic all jostling for position they may not need another defender.
But with Man City desperate for defensive cover, the talented young Greek could be heading to the champion’s bitter rivals in the not too distant future.
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