Arsenal summer target: I am the future, £21m man is the past

Kostas Manolas at AEK Athens

Kostas Manolas is preparing with Roma to face CSKA Moscow.

Kostas Manolas is a not a player shy on confidence, and he will need it when Roma take on Manchester City in midweek.

The Greek international was heavily linked with a summer transfer to Arsenal, with Goal reporting he had undertaken a medical with the club.

Roma beat the Gunners to his signature, perhaps helped by the promise of regular football, while at Arsenal he was wanted as a back-up for Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.

With star man Mehdi Benatia sold to Bayern Munich for £21 million, Manolas has big shoes to fill, but is confident about his prospects.

He said, report Football Italia: "Benatia? He’s a great player, but he is the past and I am the future.

“I will work hard to replace him and help Roma have a great season. I want to give everything for the Giallorossi and I like that the players help each other out."

The 23-year-old signing from Olympiakos has made two starts for Roma to date, and is yet to concede a goal, with a 2-0 win over Fiorentina and 1-0 at Empoli registered.

Against Empoli at the weekend he particularly impressed, winning three tackles, three interceptions and making six clearances, each of them the highest in the Roma side.

The match against CSKA Moscow will be a test for him, but with Manchester City and Benatia's side Bayern in the same group, Manolas will have to raise his game even further to live up to his boasts.

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