Reports: Arsenal close to completing the signing of Sokratis Papastathopoulos


Reports today suggest that Arsenal are on the brink of signing Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund.

The Greek international has been strongly linked for a few weeks now, and according to Jack Pitt Brooke in the Independent – backed up by the ever reliable David Ornstein – it seems the deal is on the verge of completion.

A fee of around £16m is being mentioned as sufficient to sign the 29 year old who will be 30 in June but until then remains 29, that’s how it works.

He’ll help add experience to an Arsenal defence that no longer contains the retired Per Mertesacker, and has Laurent Koscielny sidelined until well into the new campaign with an Achilles injury.

It’s a return to his former club for Sven Mislintat who, since his appointment in November, has helped bring in two other players with links to the Bundesliga side.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were teammates there was well as now in North London, but let’s hope that the German can demonstrate a wider reach with some of the other signings we make this summer.

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If he’s 30 in June, then he’s 30. That’s how it works…

Scott Smith

Erm. No actually. It isn’t how it works.

He’s 30 until he’s not 30 anymore and thus will be 31.


Stop being so logical

Bould's Eyeliner

In the Sokratic method, I must ask, why?


That one flew over your head, I see. You obviously don’t recall the famous Arsenal fan debate on how ages work. Look it up 😉


After June he will be closer to 31 than 30. That’s how it works.


Badaab – so in June, a day after his 30th birthday he will be 30 years and 1 day old but you claim that this will closer to 31 years than 30 years?
Which school did you go to?


in June, a day after his 30th birthday he will be 30 years and 1 day closer to 31 years than he was on his birthday.

Dave M

Price is right rules


Am glad we had the likes and dislikes buttons in time for that comment

Emery in Aubalaca wonderland

Just tried a thumb down on your message and it worked. I was really happy. Now, please do same to me, I like to share hapiness, lol.

Emery in Aubalaca wonderland

In lot of cases, everybody increases in in age January 1st. If government wants to tax you for example. In such cases Badaad is right.


Ah, but he will be in his 31st year… though I won’t pretend to know how that works…


Technically, he’s on his 30th year of life already. The day after his birthday, he will be on his 31st year. Thus the term as there’s no going backwards with time.

It’s also my birthday in June 🙂


I guess he was a year old the day he was born.

Dave Roberts

In his first year of life, what age did they call him? It wasn’t one, was it, Spinner? It was 3 months, 6 months, etc. So all football players are one full year behind their actual playing experience due to not counting that first year.

Jimbo Jones

What is wrong with you?

Dave Roberts

In football, ages are calculated the same way as centuries are. You’re always one ahead of your actual age. So, if a player has already passed his 30th birthday, he’s in the 31st century of his experience. Consequently, he has 31 years of experience making him 31 in football years. Pretty straightforward to me ….

Jimbo Jones

Not the sharpest tool in the box are you kiddo

Mayor McCheese

This is my favorite conversation, possibly ever.

As we all know, someone is 28.

That is, until they are 29!


I am glad we are having this conversation

Reality check

So the problem is, we are not interested in what he is but in what he will be or what he has been.. no wonder we spend so much time glued to screens..


He is a defender, has been a defender, will be a defender?
That said, he’s 29 and will be 30 in June


Jackson Martinez! He’s 31 now, incidentally… or is he 32?…

Mick Malthouse

Not convinced with this one but hope to be proved wrong.


FF to 1:50 .. no gooner will dislike him after that! 😀



Jimbo Jones

Love it ? welcome to Arsenal! He’s in the RB position a lot for CB though


This guy seems to like some last ditch tackles.


Look at where is fist is on this photo for that matter


With the way PSG played under Emery and what I’ve seen from Sokratis at Dortmund, he will fit the bill. Bellerin to play as WB when in possession (which is mostly) and Elneny to drop in deep to join the CBs, Sokratis will mostly mop up the right. Don’t know much about the other Turkish lad the papers talk about but I hope he too has some grit


As a Greek gooner, I’m over the moon with our Sokrapanos CB pairing.

Damo Dinkum



Mavropanopastathopoulos surely

Wreh's FA Cup dream

It just rolls off the tongue.

Shire Gooner

The shirt printers in the Arsenal shop are going to love him…


Rolls off the tongue.


That’s one terrifying combination


I was trying to read that and my ear started bleeding, send help.




Is he any good? 16m is a bargain these days!


He was Dortmunds best defender after Hummels left. ‘Was’ because he has been awful in 17/18 in almost every aspect, some of his errors were inacceptable. On top of that he was well respected in the league a few years ago, but his attitude has gotten worse and worse

Would have been thrilled about this signing a few years ago, but can’t really see anything good about it now

Eric Blair

This seems more about Mislintat using his connects than us really going out there to build a title challenging team. If you thought Mustafi was error prone wait until you see this guy.


Emery said he would improve the players, so maybe we are buying players who are worse than the ones we have to make them look good?


LOL…wouldn’t be surprised


Sounds like Djourou.


Last season Liverpool needed defensive reinforcements and spent money. We may not have 75m for a world class Cb but we’re spending mid table money to fix a MASSIVE problem. By all accounts he sounds like an older Mustafi. Underwhelming. I’m not against us bringing in a strong defender if he’s an upgrade. Buying for the sake of it seems pointless. Gamble on the youth we have or invest properly. How many average cygan/squillaci/senderos/djourou/Mustafi defenders do we need to buy before we learn the lesson. Playing young cbs is a plan. Probably a flawed one. Buying this guy makes no… Read more »


One of the major & valid criticisms of the last few Wenger teams is simply how few characters the teams had – we are some of the mentally weakest professional teams you will ever find. I’m not sure on this guy in particular, but in addition to bringing in younger players with high potential, we also need to bring in players who can help change the mentality and teach the younger players. The Juventus guy is a serial winner and would be great for that role – Bellerin needs someone to teach him how to defend. Maybe this guy is… Read more »

Eric Blair

If it’s characters we need bring back Eboue and Bendtner. If it’s players with winning mentality we need bring in Evans who’s won loads with Man Utd. If it’s fighters we need why not bring in Conor McGregor. This guy is none of the above, he just plays aggressively and makes mistakes like Mustafi because he isn’t good enough to do it at the highest level. There’s been so much written about late Wenger teams, but the simple fact is there has been a drop off in quality compared to the rest. Sokratis is not quality, not enough to win… Read more »

Age is important

But he’s 29 right now though, don’t forget that


Even though I understand your point, let’s not forget that we are nowhere near the situation of Liverpool right now.

We finished 6th on the league, only have Europa League to offer, don’t want to splash big, and our recent way of playing cruely lacks appealness atm to say the least.

So we cannot really go for big CBs now, but it could all change really quickly, especially with a new coach/players/system. That’s why this signing, coupled with the fact that we are actually looking to add a bright prospect such as Soyuncu, makes perfect sense to me.


Let’s hope he does go back to the Dortmund links and sorts a loan deal for Dembele.

Lord Bendnter

Dembele looks so weak. He’d be eaten up alive by the physical teams. I would rather get Martial if it’s possible

Dat guy

Dembele has the highest skill/talent ceiling of all of the young French internationals. You’d be mad not to want him, and insane if you think the chosen cunt will make a deal with us for martial.

Emery in Aubalaca wonderland

Have you seen what Dembele did to english national team a year or so ago? Dembele ate them litetally not the other way.


Now you’re talkin.

Declan M

Good getting the Hellenic players on the cheap but I do wonder how much does a Greek earn?


ode ear

Crash Fistfight

If you’re gonna do that joke at least get it right! It’s “what’s a Grecian urn?”.


If Sven’s agenda is to get the gang together again how about Hummels and Lewandowski? 🙂


Reus. I wanted to see Marco in an arsenal shirt for ages.


I thought we didn’t want another injury prone player. * I know reus is world class*


If the Oracle is correct we have two new defenders already! Good news.


Don’t worry about the vase.


The oracle is always correct


He’s looked pretty terrible whenever I’ve seen him, but then I know fuck all.

Hopefully Sven’s seen something that can help us.

Lord Bendnter

Who cares! He is cheap! And he has arms and legs! Did I mention, he’s cheap!
(Arsenal logic)

[bring back Silvestre]


He is not Ramos or Varane but definately better than Evans and Silvestre. He is a solid option for couple of years. He is strong and aggressive and learned defending at Italy. Plus he played defence in an attacking minded team like BVB for years.
Yes I am Greek …but he is good nonetheless.

Bould's Eyeliner

thank god he’s not Ramos.

A Different George

Varane, on the other hand . . .

Yellow Ribbon

I hope we sign this player (not sure if he’s worth it or not) but just for the fact that I have reading about this rumour every summer and would want to put it to bed once and for all. Getting bored now.


Aggressive defender, seems prone to same kind of rash challenges in the box that we’ve had with current defenders. Never truly convincing, though I will as always hope for the best possible performances, were he to become a Gunner. If this Turkish defender is the ‘next Hummels’ shouldn’t we be looking at him. Have a feeling one of our English defenders, or Mustafi is going to go out on loan, or be sold


I think he’s worse than Mustafi. Mustafi made the German squad a few times before he lost his mojo with our lack of defensive coaching. He’s also bright and would probably do far better this season with proper coaching.
Lichtsteiner is a strong character; a total extrovert and a bit of a nutter and I hope he gets a few games, but please not too many….btw he’s also good at diving. I can see why a 1 year deal for him makes sense.
But Sokratis…no, sorry. Please Sven check out someone other than Dortmund!

Óli Arnar

Can’t we just sign somebody called John Johnson?


Sounds like a cunt – must be from Chelsea



Bai Blagoi

No, if we look for a defender.
Because the only footballer named John Johnson, according to transfermarkt, is this guy

Might be classy, but is a midfielder.

Shire Gooner

We’ll probably end up with Adam Johnson by mistake. Too soon?


I think he’s still in prison so yes

Shire Gooner

I meant the joke..


This could work out well, we have Chambers, Holding and Mavropanos for the future, and may even get Soyuncu, but whereas Arsene would throw them in at the deep end and lose us points it looks as though Unai is going to get a couple of proven, tough, experienced warhorses to work alongside them. No more going into a season with a thin squad, if this works out the youngsters will be ready and proven when they take over in a couple of years time, and we’ll have the best centrebacks in the league for the next ten years. Bring… Read more »

David Hillier's luggage

Squillaci and Silvestre were both experienced international defenders, Wenger has brought in older heads in the past, they just haven’t always worked out. (Luzhny is an example of one that did ok)

Greg in Seattle

Point taken, but just skeptical that any defender would look like a world beater under Wenger. With Emery’s reputation or working with players and extracting extra performance out of them, rather than Wenger’s of having players stagnate or decline or be ignored, I’m willing to consider that Emery and Sven see something in these guys they can work with.

David Hillier's luggage

“stagnate or decline”? Toure, Cole, Bellerin, Lauren, Clichy, Sagna, Koscielny, Monreal – all players who have improved as defenders while playing under Wenger. I’m not for one moment saying Arsene was the best coach on the planet when it came to working with or crafting defenders, but I cannot stand this rhetoric flying around that he somehow made the players he worked with worse. Sure some players have stagnated at Arsenal or not improved the way we would have liked. At the same time, there are also plenty who haven’t progressed under Fergie at Utd too (or any manager at… Read more »


To clear up the age debate.I am 44 today but yesterday i was 43 so today he 29 .


Happy birthday


Hopefully a Mustafi replacement


opposed to a partner


Don’t know this guy from shit so no opinion, but I do hope Sven won’t just be a one-trick Dortmund pony.


Does his surname fully encircle his shirt number?


He uses Sokratis on his shirts


That’s what the pink bands on the sleeves are for


Interestingly, those awful pink bands are supposed to (when combined with the A on the chest) symbolise a pulse. Like -A-

Yeah it’s a dogshit sandwich but at least I know that they were trying to do now lol


So we’ve got a strip designed by a conceptual artist? No wonder it’s shit.


He can play right back too by the way. He was used as cover at RB when he was at AEK Athens. He was much younger then though. Anyway, not an exciting signing for me.


I belive we already have good defenders. But our previous coach was utterly incapable of instructing them. Under Emery’s leadership, look out for the invincible Mustafi and Chambers, the living brick wall. No more Shoddy Shodran or Calamitous Calum.


It is not Wenger’s mistake that Mustafi and Xhaka keep make individual errors. Yes, he could have dropped them but who else you will select if you drop them to bench?

Greg in Seattle

Xhaka got better and was a net positive, telling me he can learn and adapt. Mustafi was still pretty young (for a CB) when he got here and likely has had crap-all for coaching since arriving…but you’d like to see some better instincts and less going to ground. I don’t have much confidence that there is upside there worth suffering through growing pains with Mustafi.


Mustafi entered in a toxic atmosphere with both senior CB suddenly becoming past it. The biggest problem was that we had Per and Kos die off so fast and we sold Giroud and Coquelin who used to help at set pieces, clearances. This year, last 5 months we saw how that worked out.

A Different George

Does anyone have statistics on set-piece goals-against this season? My impression is that we have done quite well, despite the stereotype; I know we have scored more on set pieces than everyone seems to think is right for an Arsenal side.

A Different George

I think the going to ground stuff about Mustafi is vastly exaggerated. When this happens, it is almost always caused, like most of his mistakes, by poor positioning, often the result of aggressive attempts to intercept rather than stay back. Very much like Koscielny when he arrived. Mustafi is very quick, strong in the air (at both ends), and a good passer. Exactly the sort of player who can, with the proper structure and coaching, become an elite centre half. I am sure this is a minority view, and I may be proven wrong, but both my own perception and… Read more »


You make a good point; so far I’m deeply unimpressed by Mustafi but Koscielny did have many of the same problems and he became one of the league’s best defenders at his peak.

I’d like to see the statistics that you say support your opinion, though. I can’t really imagine how that could be quantified at all.

John C

Underwhelming if true.

It would be interesting if Sven knows of any players who aren’t 29 and have played for Dortmund.

But then again this could be the Arteta situation all over again and the press adding 2+2 and getting 5

Jack but

Wake me after all this.. I like the name

Bai Blagoi

Are we turning into Borussia II?



Ya gooner

*hopefully borussia circa 2014




I wonder if this means anything for the “imminent” Lichtsteiner deal?


Hopefully just two positions filled.


It would have been good if we signed him last year, when he was 28, then we could of had him playing in the team when he was 29 and of course when he is 30 he would be a solid player. But 29, is a ok age, 30 seems a bit older, maybe we should sign players that will be younger now and then older in the future, like a 25 year old. At 25, they have just past being 24 which is young but of course it takes a lot longer for players of that age to get… Read more »


All of our players are younger now and older in the future


today used to be the future
and will soon be the past
so everyone is both younger than they would have been
and will be older than they were.

Public Elneny

Imagine how old Petr Cech will be in the future O_o



Sokratis Papastopgapoulis


We need 5+ solid players or so I am told.
Him and lichsteiner for a combined 16m is good business.
Bring in a Wide forward on loan, leaves 2 left.
If we are to believe the press(hahah) that we have only 50m to spend (despite our profit last season and potential sales from perez/Campbell etc) that leaves 34m for 2 players.
You can’t get one first team player in his prime for that let alone 2.

My wig smells cheesy

I have a feeling that we have more than 50 mil net to spend. I think we are looking to get the defence sorted on the cheap, so we can go big on a cm or left winger. Just my thinking. Do we have any idea where the 50 mil thing came from?


If I were a betting man I would say somebody made it up


Oh yeah it’s total bs, hence my comments in brackets

Greg in Seattle

My guess is for this window they are all in on improvement of defense and depth, and will bank on defensive solidity improving our results. A natural wide attacker would be nice but overall we have the attackers, just need the tactics and a foundation. We score plenty. We need to stop leaking goals.

Also figure the PEM spend in January is factoring into the summer budget, and that seems fair.


Unrelated but if Jack leaves and Welbz is sold, don’t we need to buy some Brit players? Assuming Rambo doesn’t extend and Emery sends our youngsters on loan, we’d be short of homegrown players.


Looks like he’ll significantly up the cunteryquotient.

Why not just buy Dortmund as job-lot?
Their stadium is way better.


The Arsenal fans in that stadium would change your perception. It’ll be just as dead as the Emirates


I’m pretty thrilled! This guy is a beast and can add some much needed aggression. Didn’t have the best season, but it seems like it’s because he really doesn’t want to stay in Dortmund.

Tas Gunner

Straight from the cast of 300..


30 years later. From the retirement home.

And still 16m? You got to be joking.


Stop the presses. Not.


Don’t we already have Mustafi?! Will have to wait and see on this one but he was a penalty waiting to happen last season at BVB.


Defender on the wane. Like Evans a Squillaci signing at best, trying to do things on the cheap again except now it has to be ex-Dortmund.


I’m sorry, but this is a little depressing. You read today about Liverpool signing Fabinho (a DM, what an idea), they already have Kieta on the way, and they might even get Fekir and Roma’s goalie as well. We would be incredibly lucky to get any one of those 4 players. And here we are dickering around about an error-prone, past-his-prime defender. I cannot imagine how anybody is going to compete with City and Liverpool next year, least of all Arsenal. This must have been what it felt like for Liverpool fans for all those years they were stuck ‘below… Read more »

A Different George

Fabinho replaces Can; maybe an improvement, maybe not.


But a quality signing and ambition.

Papasunpronouncable and aging Swiss rback, unknown 21yr old Turkish defender from struggling German club is not what I would deem exactly ambitious.


He’s apparently faster. But Juventus made Can their main target a year ago. Looks like he’s signing this week.


If Liverpool sign Allison I’ll be well annoyed. Brazil’s no 1. Roma value him at £90m, so doubt they’ll take under 50m. He was back up to Szczesny before he joined Juve. I’m disappointed that the keeper position seems as unimportant to the new regime as it did to Wenger.


Stop gap at best.

Not impressed by Mslintat. He mines his old contacts and not necessarily for the better balance of this team.

Meanwhile Liverpool are willing to pay for Fabinho. Granted they are in CL, we need to show better ambition for Emery.


I’m not impressed at the moment, either, but under current conditions, as Blogs points out today, this is what we’ll get. Liverpool are riding quite a wave at the present and have the the money to invest in the wake of Coutinho’s 105 million pounds and their impressive CL showing, so it makes sense that they are striking while the iron is hot. We are neither rich nor enjoying a renaissance, and though Emery has brought some excitement back to Arsenal he will never be the draw for players that Wenger was. I think we should be very thankful to… Read more »




Why is this what we should get? De Vrij is on a free. Inter will probably end up paying 10m. This old Greek fellow who has had a poor season at Dortmund is 20m euros. Why do we need Lichsteiner? Free but if he gets an injury he will end up in treatment like Debuchy and then we will have issues moving him on. We already have a Rback solution. AMN has done well at LBack. Just switch him to his natural side and continue his progress in the fullback role. Why reinvent the wheel or try to add when… Read more »


Patience. We can drop names all day long here about who is available and who we should sign for how much, but as you know the actualities and realities of transfers go so far beyond he-is-available-we-need-him-sign-him. Without a significant transfer budget to compete with the top four in spending this summer, we will have to settle for some underwhelming signings aimed at reinforcing the squad we have. Emery and Co. will surely have come in to Arsenal with the express intention of getting more out of the squad we have (and as we’ve all been saying on here, repair some… Read more »


It’s good that we’re urgently doing what we need to do to strengthen our leaky defence. A couple of old hands to steady the ship while our youngsters continue to settle in and until we find more long term solutions.


Not really…

We could get De Vrij for free or at least compete with Inter for him. He is at end of contract coming of a great season with Lazio.

Instead we are set to (if rumours are true) yet again buy another ex-Dortmund player at Sven’s expediency and one who is overweight and waning, coming off of a poor season with Dortmund.

Getso gunner

I don’t know why iam not excited with this news


lots of people say arsenal need more ‘big characters’ but being a ‘big character’ is simply a by-product of winning. the 03/04 arsenal squad were full of ‘characters’ because they won all the time. we have spent a lot of money on players who were considered ‘big personalities’ and proven winners prior to coming to arsenal and none of them were significantly past their peak; cech, ozil, sanchez… mertesacker and mustafi are a world cup winning centre back partnership for germany, which sounds like the safest bet in the world. gallas was one of the most proven winners in the… Read more »




Wenger left too much open to interpretation. Not enough details. He generally buys very well. BUT he has not got the best out of his players. Emery is a great appointment considering he is able to cover details and will motivate the players where we have come out in a stupor second half. We have good players in Mustafi, Granit but organisation as a team has been shambles and effort is sometimes there but never sustained fully over 90 minutes. Its not just a defence issue but across the board from tip to toe. You defend from the front. The… Read more »


well, its kind of fitting for a club that now considers Europa success the extent of its ambition.

So sad how the board has played with the fans, and got them now to accept stuff like this as positive. PSG, Juve, Dortmund rejects all lining up.

the difference between the stature of Gazidis and Zidane is where its at now. Look at our baldy trying to be the face of the club…and look at how the real guys do it.


Perhaps that the most possible route back to champions league. Or do you see us in the top 4?

Anyway if you saw what happened to ManU during their transmission period to a new manager, where manager after manager fails, then I think it’s fair to say it’s a success if we win win the Europa league in Unai first season with us.

Given that even Arsene can’t achieve that in his last season with us.


Says it all that the sort of uninspiring signings we are making do not even put us on par with Atheltico when in the past we were gunning higher. I’m all for value in market (ala Wenger and Santi, Koscielny, Giroud) but these defensive signings smack of cutting corners. Cback there was De Vrij who was at end of contract and at 26yrs coming off a great season with Lazio. There is Lenglet at Sevilla whom although only 21yrs has had a great season in La Liga (not Greek super league or championship) and has experience in CL under belt.… Read more »


Can’t really see what’s the commotion about a player who’s 29 turning 30.

Anyway, it too also doesn’t matter much if we bring in another ex Dortmund player.

I guess it is considered a success if we can win the Europa league in Unai debut season. And then we will be back to THE Champions league


We are buying players that will be found at a Sevilla or an Inter for that matter Dortmund.

Whilst you may say Dortmund are close to challengers, they are not in the same competitive league as the premiership with the sort of quality players (and managers) being signed for top4 teams.

We are gambling when we need to provide the new gaffer with better ammunition.


He seems to be generally known as ‘Sokratis’ (on the shirt, for instance). Which certainly helps to avoid the pronunciation challenge.


Going to be interesting to see all the various spellings when people use his name in these forums.

Punday Morning When I Wake Up

I am sure Sven is trying his best to fix this defensive crisis, but it’s all Greek to me….


Sven is just buying at convenience to his old club. No thought on squad balance. 1) Lichsteiner – The new Debuchy. Older player on the wane with high potential for wear and tear issues. Gets injured and then stays peripheral to club and difficult to offload. Above all unnecessary since AMN who has been good at LBack can be easily switched to his natural side. He will have maybe less experience but far more power and recovery pace. 2) Papasthouopopolous – Must hold record for number of letters on back of shirt. The new Squillaci. Some old player looking overweight… Read more »


Are you even reading the comments you’re replying to or are you just spamming the same opinions on every comment? We get it, you want Dr Vrij, and AMN at right back (I’m not sure why when he looks much better in his natural midfield position).


He’s looking great at left back. Why put him to midfield?

We have enough there and he doesn’t add what we need currently.

Meanwhile Rback back up is vacant. Why not use him on his natural side?

No you don’t get it.




He sort of reminds me of Mustafi…

On the other hand:

Even Hummels is like ‘ooooohhhh’


I think Mislintat is playinf fifa ultimate team !

Because Aubameyang and Sokratis are really overpowered in this game…

Klopp's teeth

I like the look of him – however old he is. History with Arnautovic raises a smile –


According to wiki he is a regular in the dortmund team, has one year left of his contract, has leadership qualities and is a clean tackler. Sounds ideal to me.


He is also use to playing a pressing style of football. Another plus point.