Following the highly-publicized exit of Mesut Ozil earlier this week, Arsenal made the announcement today that the club and defender Sokratis, who joined the club in 2018 from Borussia Dortmund, made the mutual decision to end the Greek player’s contract, effectively ending his playing career at the Emirates.
Working closely with @SokratisPapa5 and his team, we have decided to cancel his contract by mutual consent— Arsenal (@Arsenal) January 20, 2021
Much like the player himself, the departure of Sokratis was quiet and without much pomp and circumstance. It was, however, expected, as Mikel Arteta and co were expected to clear the deadwood out of the club this winter. Despite being a consistent presence in Arsenal’s defense in his first two seasons at the club, Sokratis was not in the mold of defender that Arteta preferred, and he was subsequently left out of Arsenal’s registered Premier League roster at the beginning of the 2020-2021 season.
Sokratis was a fine servant of the club. Neither great nor terrible, his veteran skill helped while Arsenal retooled and remolded their defense as the team transitioned from Unai Emery to Mikel Arteta in late 2019 and through the remainder of the 19-20 season. Unfortunately, as Arteta began to stock the defense with new players over the summer, the writing was on the wall. But to his credit, despite being relegated to training with the Arsenal Academy, he never complained or made public any grievances about the lack of playing time.
At 32 years old, he still has a few productive seasons left ahead of him, and he will undoubtedly not be without a club for long. Good luck and thanks for your service, Sokratis.