Greek international Sokratis Papastathopoulos became Arsenal’s third signing of the summer as the club introduced the former Borussia Dortmund defender on Monday afternoon.
And, speaking to the club website, the 30-year-old revealed how Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, his former teammates at Dortmund, influenced his decision to come to the Emirates.
“I spoke [to them] a lot times, he said.
“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.”
The three players all joined the Bundesliga club in 2013, but are now teammates once again in London as Gunners fans will hope that their chemistry and past history of working together will serve the team well in the new Premier League season.
“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.”
Sokratis played in 30 matches for Dortmund last season, scoring two goals as the club finished fourth.
The 6ft 1in defender, known for his robust playing style, also spoke of how happy he is to join a club of Arsenal’s stature.
“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,” he added. “Like I said before, I’m very happy that for the next years I will be here to help the team.”
Arsenal fans will hope that the player, whom former manager Thomas Tuchel once described as ‘obsessed with defending’, can help sure up a back line that conceded 51 goals last season.
“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,” he 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.”