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‘Loan him to Norwich’ – Some Arsenal fans send bizarre birthday wishes to Sokratis

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He has been one of few shining lights in a sub-standard defence this year, but Sokratis Papastathopoulos has had a fairly solid first-season showing in the Premier League.

The Greek centre-back has cemented himself in Unai Emery’s first-choice centre-back pairing – perhaps not an amazing feat ahead of Shkodran Mustafi – while adopting his no-nonsense approach into English football (receiving 12 bookings in 25 league appearances) may have given the Gunners backline some much-needed backbone.

But not all Gooners agree – with some brutal enough to suggest the 31-year-old calls time on his Arsenal career – as the frustrations of a fruitless season linger on into the summer months.

Some questioned his place in the first team, while others saw his age as a damning sign of the state of the current Arsenal defenders – with partner Laurent Koscielny and the outgoing Stephan Lichtsteiner both in their mid-30s.

Meanwhile, young compatriot Konstantinos Mavropanos is yet to prove himself in a Gunners shirt, while 23-year-old Rob Holding could go into next season as the club’s most senior central-back.

Sokratis can take heart from the otherwise widely positive reaction to his birthday – but these tweets suggest an improvement next year may get even more fans on board:

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