Arsenal sign £16m Sokratis Papastathopoulos as Unai Emery's Emirates revolution gathers pace
PUBLISHED: 17:27 02 July 2018 | UPDATED: 18:34 02 July 2018
The Unai Emery revolution continues after Greek international Sokratis Papastathopoulos joins Arsenal on a long-term contract with the fee expected to be in the region of £16 million.
The 30-year-old arrives from Borussia 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.
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.
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 a Greek radio show in early June the star’s dad said: “There was interest from United.
“United have a very good relationship with Dortmund, the teams were talking more closely [but] he chose to go to Arsenal instead.”
Emery and Arsenal’s head of recuritment Sven Mislintat view Sokratis as the perfect replacement for the injured Laurent Koscielny, with the head coach revamp the defence he inherited – a legacy of a poor final season under the long-serving Arsene Wenger.
With mainstay Koscielny ruled out after suffering a serious achilles injury against Atletico Madrid during the Europa League semi-final second leg in Spain in early May, the pair have already acted by recruiting Juventus full-back Stephan Lichtsteiner and Bayer Leverkusen keeper Bernd Leno.
Sokratis has featured 198 times for Dortmund, wining the DFC Cup and the Super Cup twice.
Prior to joining the Bundesliga side he played for Genoa for two seasons following a disappointing 24 month year spell at the San Siro with AC Milan between 2010 and 2012 before rebuilding his career with Werden Bremen.
The hugely-experienced defender lists Werder Bremen, AC Milan, Genoa and AEK Athens among his previous clubs.
Sokratis will wear the No5 shirt.
Follow Arsenal reporter Layth on Twitter @laythy29 and join the Islington Gazette Arsenal Facebook page.