Following weeks of speculations, Premier League giants Arsenal complete the signing of Sokratis Papastathopoulos but can he be an exciting addition to the team?
Arsenal have finally completed the signing of Borussia Dortmund’s defensive stalwart Sokratis Papastathopoulos. After being linked with a move to Emirates for the past few months, the Greek international joins the club on a five-year contract for an undisclosed fee. However, sources believe that Arsenal will pay £16m to Borussia Dortmund for the services of their prized defender.
Sokratis becomes Arsenal’s third signing this summer and arguably the most important one as newly appointed head coach Unai Emery looks to start a new era following the departure of the legendary Arsene Wenger. The former PSG head coach has been keen on adding a touch of experience in his team and will be delighted to have secured the signing of the Greek stalwart.
The 30-year-old is a seasoned campaigner in top-flight football, having played for the likes of AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund, Werder Bremen, Genoa and AEK Athens during his illustrious playing career. He has been a part of BVB since 2013, where he had become a cult figure following Mats Hummels’ departure in 2016.
Sokratis appeared in almost 200 games for Dortmund in all competitions, with the Greek international a crucial figure in the defensive line. In the 2016/17 season, he led the black and yellows to a DFB Pokal triumph, which, in turn, was Dortmund’s first major trophy since 2012.
Thus, Sokratis seems like an excellent buy for Arsenal. The Greek international has ample amount of experience in top flight, which might help Arsenal solidify their defence next season.
But that being said, many players have failed to thrive in the English top flight after making the hyped move from Bundesliga. And Sokratis has actually shown a number of blips throughout the course of the last few seasons, which could be an alarming sign for Arsenal.
Even though the 30-year-old is highly praised for his no-nonsense style of play in the defensive half, Sokratis has appeared error-prone, of late whilst having a poor positioning sense. In addition, he lacks ball-playing abilities, which is almost imperative for any top class defender in modern football.
However, his weaknesses might actually be redundant considering the fact that the 30-year-old is blessed with immense physical prowess, which will definitely help him get used to the physically astute Premier League. Besides, signing someone as experienced as Sokratis for just €16m is certainly a bargain in today’s market.
It remains to be seen whether or not the Greek international manages to vindicate Arsenal’s trust next season.