Arsenal have reportedly agreed a deal to sign Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos in a £16 millon deal.
Sokratis’ much-awaited transfer to Arsenal could be on the verge of its completion in the coming days, as per a report from The Telegraph. The Borussia Dortmund defender has been heavily linked with a move to Emirates for the past few weeks and is ready to make the switch, following a dismal season in the Bundesliga.
The Gunners have reportedly agreed a £16 million deal with Borussia Dortmund for the defender. They are also expected to wrap up a three-year contract with the Greek international as they close in on their second signing of the summer. Sokratis, who is highly regarded as one of the best defenders in the Bundesliga, is keen to move to the Premier League.
Following the acquisition of Stephan Lichtsteiner, Sokratis will become the second experienced defender added to Arsenal’s roster, after having lost veteran skipper Per Mertesacker through retirement at the end of last season. The former German international will now be coaching Arsenal’s youth academy from next season.
Since joining Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2015, Sokratis has grown into one of the most sturdy defenders in European football. His addition to Arsenal would undoubtedly give new manager Unai Emery a huge boost in the defensive department with Laurent Koscielny out with a long-term injury.
Initially brought in as a replacement for Felipe Santana, Sokratis has made almost 200 professional appearances for Dortmund whilst featuring in 189 Bundesliga matches. Therefore, he is no stranger when it comes to experience in top-flight football.
During his time with Dortmund, Sokratis helped Die Schwarzgelben win the DFB Pokal in the 2016-17 season. He has become a critical part of their defensive lineup, which was hugely deprived of quality following the departure of Mats Hummels in 2016.
Arsenal, on the other hand, have struggled a lot in the Premier League for the past couple of seasons. And it goes without saying that lack of defensive solidity has been one of the main reasons behind their downfall.
Additionally, Calum Chambers’ long-term future with Arsenal is uncertain while the likes of Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos are just way too young to become regular fixture in the English top flight, yet. Hence, it’s clear that the North Londoners are in definite need of a world class centre-back this summer and that’s where Sokratis comes into the fray.
Hardened with years of experience, the Greek international could become a great defensive asset for Arsenal next season, largely due to his style of play. Blessed with sheer physicality coupled with great determination, the 29-year-old is someone who can not only improve the Gunners’ defence but also add another dimension to their overall defensive dynamics.
With the Gunners eyeing a return to the UEFA Champions League next season, the addition of experienced defenders in the likes of Stephan Lichtsteiner and Sokratis will undoubtedly strengthen Arsenal’s overall defensive quality as they look to usher in a new era under Unai Emery.