Sokratis Papastathopoulos wants to fight for his place in the Arsenal side next season, rather than leaving the club this summer.

Arsenal's Greek defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos (L) vies with West Ham United's French striker Sebastien Haller (R) during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and West Ham at the Emirates Stadium in London on March 7, 2020.
Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos (L) vies with West Ham United striker Sebastien Haller (R) on March 7, 2020. (Photo by IAN KINGTON/AFP via Getty Images)

Mark Mann-Bryans of PA Sport reports that despite his lack of games recently, Sokratis won’t ask to leave Arsenal this summer. In talks with Mikel Arteta, he suggested he’d continue to fight for his place in the team.

Sokratis initially signed a contract to 2021, and an extension doesn’t seem likely. He only has one Premier League start since mid-January and one minute of football on the pitch post-lockdown. As a result, he’s likely to leave for free next summer.

Alternatively, maybe he’ll really turn things around in the next year. Arteta clearly isn’t a big fan of his, but Sokratis has to believe it’s possible he can change the head coach’s mind.

Defensive injuries may help the player in that regard. It looks like Arsenal are already going to lose Shkodran Mustafi, Pablo Mari and Calum Chambers for the start of next season. Rob Holding’s fitness has been shaky since his ACL injury as well.

The fact that Sokratis still isn’t playing, despite all of that, really suggests he should move on. But if he prefers collecting another year of wages followed by a free transfer next summer, there’s little Arsenal can do.