Arsenal have reached an agreement to sign Borussia Dortmund’s Sokratis Papastathopoulos, according to the Telegraph. However, the report also reveals that the deal will not be officially confirmed before July.
The Greek centre-back is the second signing the Gunners are set to make since the appointment of Unai Emery as the manager, and given the way the squad is (un)balanced at the moment, it’s not really surprising that both of them represent defensive reinforcements.
Sokratis started his career in his homeland with AEK Athens, after three years he moved to Italy where he played for Genoa and AC Milan. He moved to Werder Bremen in 2011, and two years later he signed for Borussia Dortmund.
During his five years at the Signal Iduna Park, he made a total of 198 appearances and scored 10 goals in the black-and-yellow shirt. Now, at 29, he comes to the Emirates to do what he can to add some steel to Arsenal’s faltering defence. The fee agreed for his services has been set at £16million.
With Per Mertesacker retired and Laurent Koscielny out of action probably for the rest of the year, Sokratis will being some much needed experience to the back line, along with fullback Stephan Lichtsteiner. The signing of the Switzerland captain from Juventus on a free transfer has already been announced officially.
The centre-back’s contract with Dortmund had only one more year remaining to run, and after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, he will become the third signing Arsenal have made from Borussia Dortmund since the appointment of former Dortmund man Sven Mislintat as the head of recruitment. The deal Sokratis is set to sign is expected to run for three years.
The club’s main goal for next season is a top-four finish and a return to the Champions League, and the additions of Sokratis and Lichtsteiner represent experienced, decent low-cost solutions to plug the holes in defence, something Arsenal are unfortunately forced to go for in this moment in time.