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TONY NEOPHYTOU

“DRIVE TIME”

SOKRATIS PAPASTATHOPOULOS SIGNS FOR ARSENAL

Greek international Sokratis Papastathopoulos has joined Αrsenal on a long-term contract for an undisclosed fee.

The 30-year-old arrives from Borussia Dortmund, where he won two Bundesliga titles and one German Cup. The hugely-experienced defender lists Werder Bremen, AC Milan, Genoa and AEK Athens among his previous clubs.

Sokratis, who will wear the No 5 shirt for Arsenal, also has vast experience on the international stage, making 79 appearances for Greece.

The new Arsenal defender was identified as one of Unai Emery’s prime transfer targets after the Spaniard took over from Arsène Wenger as manager.

The former AEK Athens defender joins his former Dortmund teammates Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the Emirates Stadium. “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,” Papastathopoulos said.

“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.”

Papastathopoulos, described by his former manager Thomas Tuchel as “a little obsessed with defending”, made 28 Bundesliga appearances last season having established himself as a mainstay of Dortmund’s defence since joining from Werder Bremen in 2013.

“I feel very good, everything is special,” Papastathopoulos said.

“It is a beautiful moment and I am very happy that for the next years I’ll be here. Arsenal are 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.”

This deal is subject to the completion of regulatory processes.


Article written by London Greek Radio