After more than a month of rumors (and a few weeks of knowing it would happen), Sokratis Papastathopoulos has officially joined Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund. The full details of the transfer are still emerging, but reports have the fee somewhere in the £16 million range. The 30-year-old Greek international will wear shirt number 5 for the Gunners.
Sokratis is the third former Borussia Dortmund player to join Arsenal during Sven Mislintat’s time at the club, joining Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. He comes in as part of a stated effort to overhaul Arsenal’s defense. The club have already added veteran Swiss right back Stephan Lichtsteiner and German goalkeeper Bernd Leno this summer.
Check out the announcement video, it’s pretty sweet.
With Per Mertesacker’s retirement, Laurent Koscielny’s injury, and rumors of Shkodran Mustafi’s impending departure, the addition of Sokratis helps to refill Arsenal’s depleted center back ranks and brings a needed veteran presence. Hopefully his experience will help to develop the Gunners’ trio of young center backs, Rob Holding, Calum Chambers, and Konstantinos Mavropanos.
Aside: anytime Sokratis Papastathopoulos plays alongside Konstaninos Mavropanos we shall heretofore refer to the pairing as “The Phalanx”.