Arsenal new boy Sokratis says he’ll take it upon himself to help compatriot Konstantinos Mavropanos to settle at the Emirates as he knows full well how difficult it is to swap the comfort of home for the challenge of life abroad at a young age.
Sokratis – or Big Papa as we like to call him – was signed by Serie A side Genoa when he was only 20-years-old, the same age as Mavropanos when he arrived from PAS Giannina in January.
While the younger of the two centre backs has already experienced life in the Premier League, the elder statesman, recently signed from Borussia Dortmund, still feels a responsibility to lead the way, even though he too is only just finding his feet in London.
“I think this is my work and the work of the other guys with experience, to help the young guys,” Sokratis told Arsenal Player.
“From the first day, I will do everything so that the young guys feel like they have been here for a lot of years.
“[Dinos and I] spoke two or three times on the telephone, and also when he came here. I said to him that it’s OK, Arsenal is one of the big teams but he has to be happy and needs to put in a lot of work.
“I also saw some games. He improved a lot and I think that if he improves again in the next year, he can be one of the best defenders.
“The first year is difficult because it also depends if you speak the language or not. Now I’m here I also have to help him to be more calm, more easy, more friendly here with the other guys. I think we can have one good relationship together, we can be friends.”
Sokratis and Dinos were paired together in the 8-0 win over Boreham Wood at the weekend and also got minutes against Crawley Town in yesterday’s 9-0 behind-closed-doors win at London Colney. No doubt, we’ll get the chance to see the duo strut their stuff together in Singapore next week as well.