Arsenal have confirmed that Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos has signed for the club for a reported £17.6 million.
The experienced defender, who goes by his first name, was a top priority for new Arsenal coach Unai Emery, who was keen on rebuilding the Gunners backline for the upcoming 2017/18 season. He will also take the vacant No. 5 shirt.
Sokratis has gained a reputation as one of the most reliable Bundesliga defenders in recent seasons for both Dortmund and Werder Breman. The 30-year-old centre back is also one of the shining examples of recent Greek defenders to flourish on the international stage, something Arsenal have gotten in on as well with the signing of Greece U21 defender Konstantinos Mavropanos in January of this year.
‘Everything is special’
Speaking to Arsenal’s official website, Sokraits expressed his delight in joining the North London club. The Greek international said: “I feel very good signing for Arsenal, everything is special. It is a beautiful moment and I hope I am happy here for the next few years."
“Arsenal is one of the three biggest teams in the Premier League and they are a very big club with lots of fans and history," he continued. "I hope to add to this history over the next few seasons. I spoke a lot of times (to Aubameyang and Mkhitaryian) about this club, and they called me a lot of times to come here. It’s a little strange for us all to be here at the same time at a different club, but I am very happy it has happened.”
A busy summer for Arsenal
Sokratis becomes Emery’s third signing of the summer transfer window after the Spaniard brought in Stephan Lichtsteiner from Juventus on a free transfer, as well as Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno for £21 million.
Arsenal are also reportedly close to signing Sampdoria youngster Lucas Torreira after multiple reports indicated the North London club met the Uruguayan’s release clause of £25 million.