As per reports, Arsenal have agreed on a deal to sign Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund.
The Gunners will pay an initial £16m for the Greek international, who would become Unai Emery’s second summer signing after acquiring the services of Stephan Lichtsteiner on a free transfer from Juventus.
The signing of Lichtsteiner and the imminent arrival of Sokratis show Arsenal under Emery are moving in the right direction. Fixing the defence should be prioritised by Emery, considering the Gunners have lost Per Mertesacker and they will be without Laurent Koscielny at the start of next season.
Sokratis, 30, will be expected to fill the void left by Mertesacker. Every dressing room needs leaders and Arsenal are in desperate need of a leader. Sokratis is all that and more — a leader, warrior and an inspirational figure on the field and off it.
The 30-year-old is an accomplished Greece international with 79 caps over a decade in the national setup. It seems like Sokratis was born to be a leader, given he became the youngest ever player to lead AEK Athens at the age of 19.
Having previously played in Italy with Genoa and AC Milan, Sokratis joined Borussia Dortmund from Werder Bremen in 2013. And at Dortmund, the Greek has gone on to establish himself as one of the most reliable defenders in the Bundesliga.
As far as the Gunners are concerned, they have successfully managed to sign an accomplished and experienced central defender who would also bring in some much-needed winning mentality to develop the younger players.
Commanding, strong and powerful, Sokratis is a no-nonsense defender, who never shies away from putting in a tackle or making a hefty clearance. He prefers to win the ball early with his strong yet efficient challenges, making him a solid choice for Arsenal.
Sokratis, however, has his set of flaws. The player has put in some nightmarish displays at the back, particularly over the course of the last two seasons at Signal Iduna Park.
However, a club like Arsenal will benefit from Sokratis’ experience and winning mentality. He comes to England with a proven pedigree and with a desire to make a difference at the Emirates. The Greek would not only stabilize the Arsenal backline but he would also inject a sense of fierceness that the North London outfit have lacked for some time now.
Time will only tell how Sokratis fares at Arsenal but for now, he is a safe bet for the short-term.