Arsenal have announced the signing of defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund on a “long-term contract” for a fee in the region of €19 million.
Sokratis becomes Unai Emery’s third senior signing of the summer.
Greece international Sokratis becomes the second player the Gunners have signed from Dortmund. Arsenal signed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a club record fee in the January transfer window. Sokratis will wear the number 5 shirt at the club
The 29-year-old is an experienced centre-back who shares the same agent as compatriot Konstantinos Mavropanos. He was also Arsenal’s new head of recruitment Sven Mislintat at the turn of the year.
Mislintat maintains a close relationship with senior figures at Dortmund. He spent over a decade as their chief scout, and played an influential part in Arsenal’s January signings of Mavropanos, Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Laurent Koscielny ruled out through injury until November at the earliest and Per Mertesacker has retired to take up a new role. Arsenal conceded 51 times in the Premier League during Arsene Wenger’s final season in charge.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Sokratis said:
“It’s a beautiful moment and I’m very happy that I will be here for the next years. Arsenal is one of the three biggest teams in the Premier League and one very big club. It has a lot of fans and a very big history. Like I said before, I’m very happy that for the next years I will be here to help the team.”
The defender’s father , told Greek radio station 24/7 in early June that his son rejected late interest from Manchester United to join the Gunners.
Arsenal are also closing in on a move for Sampdoria midfielder Lucas Torreira. Though, they are unlikley to be able to complete the deal for the Uruguay international until after the World Cup.