Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Sokratis Papastathopoulous from Borussia Dortmund on a long-term contract. The Greece international becomes the club’s third recruit of the summer transfer window and he has been handed the number five jersey ahead of the club’s pre-season tour of Singapore.
Sokratis’ move to Arsenal had been finalised at the start of the previous month but the move was supposedly delayed by Dortmund, who were not keen on sanctioning the deal until the next financial year. During this period, there had been the talk that Juventus could potentially hijack a move for the former Werder Bremen man but such concerns have been put to bed with a formal announcement regarding the defender’s arrival.
The Greece international is expected to provide the much-needed experience at the heart of the Gunners defence next season and his leadership skills may come into fray, considering Laurent Koscielny has been sidelined for the long-term with an Achilles problem.
Aside from Sokratis, the likes of Stephan Lichtsteiner and Bernd Leno have been recruited from Juventus and Bayer Leverkusen respectively this summer and there appears a keen emphasis on improving the defensive side of the game which had hampered the club under Arsene Wenger last term.
Meanwhile, the midfield has been another position which has come into focus over the past few weeks and Sampdoria’s Lucas Torreira has been heavily tipped to join the north London club. The Uruguayan is presently with the national team for World Cup duty but a deal appears already in the pipeline with his father confirming that a medical is scheduled to happen following his son’s return from the global tournament.
Torreira begun the World Cup with a couple of substitute appearances but he has since featured from the starting lineup versus Russia and Portugal respectively. In the latter, the 22-year-old was praised by fans and pundits alike after he made a number of key interceptions in the penalty box to deny Cristiano Ronaldo’s side a victory in the round of 16 stage.