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Sokratis Papastathopoulos is obsessed with defending while he hails Arsenal deal as ‘beautiful moment’

PUBLISHED: 17:54 02 July 2018

Sokratis Papastathopoulos has signed for Arsenal. CREDIT ARSENAL FC

Sokratis Papastathopoulos has signed for Arsenal. CREDIT ARSENAL FC

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The Unai Emery revolution continues after Greek international Sokratis Papastathopoulos joins Arsenal on a long-term contract with the fee expected to be in the region of £16 million. Read on for his first interview as he describes the ‘beautiful moment’ in signing for the club.

Borussia Dortmund's Sokratis Papastathopoulos battles with Harry Kane during their UEFA Champions League, Group H match at Wembley. PABorussia Dortmund's Sokratis Papastathopoulos battles with Harry Kane during their UEFA Champions League, Group H match at Wembley. PA

The 30-year-old arrives from Borussia Dortmund, where he won two Bundesliga titles and one German Cup.

The former AEK Athens Greek international with 79 caps has impressed during his five years in the Bundesliga at the Westfalenstadion.

Speaking to Arsenal.com he explained his feelings at joining the North London giants on Monday.

He said: “I feel very good. It’s my first day here, everything is special.

“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.

“t has a lot of fans and a very big history. I’m very happy I will be here to help the team.”

Emery and Arsenal’s head of recuritment Sven Mislintat view Sokratis as the perfect replacement for the injured Laurent Koscielny, with the head coach revamp the defence he inherited – a legacy of a poor final season under the long-serving Arsene Wenger.

With mainstay Koscielny ruled out after suffering a serious achilles injury against Atletico Madrid during the Europa League semi-final second leg in Spain in early May, the pair have already acted by recruiting Juventus full-back Stephan Lichtsteiner and Bayer Leverkusen keeper Bernd Leno.

Sokratis, who was desribed by former Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel as ‘obsessed with defending’ added: “I think that a defender first has to defend, to protect the goal, and then after if he can help in front a little bit for the game, then it’s good.

“But first of all, he has to defend.

I’m a normal defender who likes to defend. I like that my team doesn’t [concede] goals and I like the zero in the defence of course.

“I will do everything to help achieve these goals.”

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