Arsenal have confirmed the signing of defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund as Unai Emery continues to stamp his mark on the squad.
In turn, the Greek international becomes their third signing of the summer, and an important one given Arsenal’s porous defence last season which conceded the most goals out of the top seven sides in the Premier League.
Sokratis, 30, will undoubtedly bring experience and defensive solidity to the Gunners backline, having proven his quality during his time in Germany along with spells with Genoa and AC Milan, winning a Serie A title with the latter.
Although Arsenal didn’t reveal any details on his transfer fee or contract length, albeit The Guardian claim he’s joined in a deal worth £17.7m, they did confirm that Sokratis will wear the No.5 shirt at the Emirates next season, as per the club’s official site.
As they continue to move quickly for their targets, it seems a sensible transfer strategy from the Premier League giants as it gives their new recruits and Emery as much time as possible to settle and prepare for the new campaign.
Given Arsene Wenger was in charge for so long, it will likely result in a tricky transitional period, but the key for Arsenal is that they’ve addressed the biggest weakness in their team which was the defence, and that was a key factor in their failure to the qualify for the Champions League for a second consecutive season.
With the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan at the other end of the pitch to provide attacking quality, Emery is certainly adding a balance to the side with his defensive signings.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) July 2, 2018