Sokratis ‘happy’ to link-up with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan at Arsenal
- Credit: Archant
New defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos becomes Unai Emery’s third summer signing when he joined the club from Borussia Dortmund on Monday for a fee in the region of £16m. Read on to hear his views on linking-up with former Die Borussen colleagues Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in North London.
Sokratis has been in demand this summer with his father, Charalambos, claiming Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United were in talks with Dortmund in a bid to capture him earlier this month – and can’t wait to play in the same team as his two pals.
The 30-year-old arrives from Dortmund, where he won two Bundesliga titles and one German Cup.
The former AEK Athens Greek international with 79 caps has impressed during his five years in the Bundesliga at the Westfalenstadion.
However, the defender many rate as one of the best in Europe over the last few years, is said to have snubbed the Old Trafford outfit in favour of a move to the Emirates.
Speaking to Arsenal.com after he signed for the club on Monday he said: “I spoke [to them] a lot times.
“They said to me the best things about this club, that it is one big family and of course they also called me not every day but a lot of times telling me to come here.
- 1 Teenage Highbury Fields fatal stabbing victim named by police
- 2 'All I could see was the water coming up': Clean-up begins after Holloway flooding
- 3 'Like a tsunami': Burst water main floods Islington street
- 4 Murder investigation after teenager stabbed in Islington park
- 5 Biggest 'shooting star' meteor shower to peak this week
- 6 'Extremely distressing': Council leader's shock after Highbury Fields stabbing
- 7 Hospital trust increasingly reliant on international medical staff
- 8 Hundreds of children strip searched by Met Police
- 9 Councils get cash to tackle chewing gum on high streets
- 10 ‘A pillar of the community’: Tributes paid to Des from Islington Wine
“Yes it’s a little bit [strange] but it’s also very beautiful that I’ve come to one team but I also have two players who I was together with for a lot of years. I know them both very well and I’m very happy.”
Reflecting on his time at the Westfalenstadion and with the Greek national side the tough centre-half with 79 caps for his country has been described as being obsessed with defending.
He added: “Yes, of course. Of course I agree.
“I also have the experience. Whatever happens in the team, in the national team but also in my last club, I was there to help a lot of players, and also when they asked me [about things] on and off the pitch. When they asked me some things, I was there every time. I think this is leadership, but the leader has to be first on the pitch and last off it too.”
Follow Arsenal reporter Layth on Twitter @laythy29 and join the Islington Gazette Arsenal Facebook page.