Arsenal have announced the capture of defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund on a contract for a sum around €19 million which is supposed to be a long-term agreement.
Greece’s top player Sokratis becomes the second player that the Gunners have taken from Dortmund this year after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joined for a club record transfer fee in the January transfer window.
Papastathopoulos earlier played for Genoa, AC Milan and Werder Bremen having come through at AEK Athens.
He will fight with favorites Shkodran Mustafi, Laurent Koscielny, Calum Chambers and comrade Konstantinos Mavropanos for a place in the core of Emery’s defence.
The 30-year-old is a sophisticated centre-back who has an excellent agent in Konstantinos Mavropanos; one more player explored and marked by Arsenal’s new head of enrollment Sven Mislintat at the turn of the year.
Here is what Papastathopoulos told Arsenal Player:
“I feel very good, everything is special,”
“It is a beautiful moment and I am very happy for the next years, that I will be here. Arsenal is one of the three biggest teams in the Premier League.
“I’m a normal defender, I like to defend. I like that my team doesn’t take goals. I like a zero in the defence and I will do everything to help to achieve this goal.”
Mislintat keeps up a warm relationship with senior figures at Dortmund and online casino Australia, where he spent over 10 years as their central scout, and had a persuasive influence in Arsenal’s January signings of Mavropanos, Aubameyang, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, the last being another ex-Dortmund player whom the German knows well.
The marking of Sokratis is Unai Emery’s third signing since becoming Arsenal head mentor, following hot on the heels of Stephan Lichtsteiner’s landing on a free exchange from Juventus and Bernd Leno completing his transfer from Bayer Leverkusen, however it is understood that starter talks had effectively occurred between Mislintat and the Greek safeguard’s specialist before Emery had agreed to take over the reigns at the Emirates Stadium.
With Laurent Koscielny discounted through injury until November at the earliest and Per Mertesacker resigning to take up the position as head of the Arsenal Academy, Mislintat is supporting a Gunners rearguard which needs re-inforcing and conceeded 51 times in the Premier League during Arsene Wenger’s last season in control.
Charalambos Papastathopoulos, the defender’s father, revealed to one radio station at the beginning of the previous month that Sokratis had dismissed late overtures from Manchester United to join the Gunners.
Arsenal management are also hoping to secure Sampdoria midfielder Lucas Torreira, with dsicussions now probably taking place now that Uruguay have been knocked out of the World Cup.