Farewell Papa: Arsenal terminate Sokratis' contract
ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - AUGUST 07: Sokratis of Arsenal during the Arsenal Media Day at London Colney on August 07, 2019 in St Albans, England. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal and Sokratis Papastathopolous' camp mutually agreed to terminate his contract on Wednesday. 

Signed by Unai Emery in July 2018, the Greek centre-back was one of three summer signings by the new Gunners manager following the resignation of North-London legend Arsene Wenger.  

Whilst the 32 year old had fallen out of favour with the current squad due to his age and inability to fit into boss Mikel Arteta's style of play, he was a beacon of solidarity at times. Sky Sports Italy report that Real Betis, Sevilla and Genoa are all keen on signing the veteran. 

  • Fond memories 

Brought in to replace the ageing Per Mertesacker, Sokratis joined the club from Borussia Dortmund for £17Million and made his debut in August of 2018, playing against Manchester City in the Community Shield. He made 40 appearances in all competitions in his first season with the Gunners. 

Despite him drifting from Arteta's 2020/21 squad, the Greek international captain made five appearances in Arsenal's 2019/20 FA Cup campaign that saw them win the competition. He came on as a substitute in the final against Frank Lampard's Chelsea. 

Recovering from a slight knee problem that saw him miss some games at the beginning of the Gunners' first season under new boss Emery, he came back to start in a Europa League victory over Azerbajani outfit FK Qarabag in October.

He scored a goal following a corner and kept a clean sheet in a game which saw current potential star Emile Smith-Rowe score his first professional goal for the club.

  • Best Arsenal career moment 

Sokratis started in the back four that kept a clean sheet against Manchester United on the 1st of January 2020, beating them 2-0 in the Premier League.

The defender scored the goal that sealed the victory against Ole Gunnar Solskjær's visiting side with a sweet close range volley, peeling away to celebrate a triumphant win with his teammates. 

Beating Man United was so crucial to the Gunners that season as they ended a run of seven home games without a win at the Emirates since beating Vitória Guimarães in the Europa League group stage. 

Goalkeeper Bernd Leno will have been the most thankful for 'Papa' on that day, as his defender in front of him stifled any attacks or possession that united came up with in the final third.