Sokratis Papastathopoulos Completes Arsenal Transfer for Reported £17.6M Fee

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJuly 2, 2018

DORTMUND, GERMANY - MAY 05: Sokratis of Dortmund controls the ball during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and 1. FSV Mainz 05 at Signal Iduna Park on May 5, 2018 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Arsenal completed the signing of defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund on Monday for a reported transfer fee of £17.6 million.  

The Gunners confirmed the signing on Twitter, with Sokratis moving to the Emirates Stadium on a "long-term contract." Ed Aarons and Fabrizio Romano of the Guardian reported the fee on June 28:

Arsenal FC @Arsenal

HE’S HERE 😁 #SOKRATIS https://t.co/fnVp54fjto

The 30-year-old centre-back departs BVB after five seasons at the club, during which he made 130 Bundesliga appearances.

An experienced Greece international, Sokratis' arrival will likely be welcomed by Arsenal fans as the Gunners enter life after Arsene Wenger.

Arsenal's defence has been lacking for some time, overly reliant on a declining Laurent Koscielny, and the addition of Sokratis could go a long way to making their back line more robust.

He is strong in the challenge and boasts the physical prowess to control a penalty area.

Per Jack Pitt-Brooke of The Independent and BBC Sport's David Ornstein, head of recruitment Sven Mislintat played a key role in identifying Sokratis as a target given his links to Dortmund and the deal has been expected for some time:

David Ornstein @bbcsport_david

As per @JackPittBrooke Arsenal close to signing Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Dortmund. Latest acquisition led by Sven Mislintat, continues drive to rebuild defence/squad with experience/leadership. #AFC prioritising ready players & will integrate youth (eg Mavropanos) over time

Arsenal have significant ground to make up if they are to break back into the top four next season, let alone challenge for the title.

Key areas need to be addressed, and Arsenal have already added Stephan Lichtsteiner and Bernd Leno to the squad this summer.

Sokratis becomes Arsenal's third new addition and, although he is far from a fix-all solution, he is a defender of proven quality who should be an upgrade on the Gunners' current options at centre-back. 


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