Sokratis thinks ‘good guy’ David Luiz is a fine addition to the Arsenal squad and says the Brazilian reminds him of Germany international Matts Hummels with whom he formed a three-year partnership at Borussia Dortmund.
Unai Emery fielded the Greek alongside the new signing, an £8 million deadline acquisition from Chelsea, for the first time in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Burnley and the duo performed well in the face of the visitors’ near-constant aerial bombardment.
With Calum Chambers dropped to accommodate Luiz and Rob Holding and Dinos Mavropanos injured, it looks as though the duo has a chance to establish themselves as Unai Emery’s first-choice centre-back pair in the coming weeks.
Much will depend on how they get on against Liverpool and Sp*rs in the coming weeks, but Sokratis is confident that they can build something special.
“I have known him for a lot of years,” the Greek told Arsenal.com on Sunday. “He also speaks some Greek and is a very good guy. I am happy also that we took a player like him with experience.
“When I was in Dortmund I played with Hummels, who has the same style as David. It was also a very good partnership and it is very good [now with David Luiz]. It was his first game, it is important that we won and we can go from here.
“When [David] came we spoke a lot that we will have moments when we struggle, but we have to struggle all together. Of course he is a player that has experience because he played for big teams. We need character and players like him.
“Yes, it is good [to build a partnership]. But we have also Rob Holding, [Calum] Chambers who are good players and Dinos [Mavropanos], who is coming back now. We have to be ready for every game. It is a lot of games and we need all the players. The important thing is to win as a team. In games somebody has to stay outside and somebody has to play, but the important thing is the team.”
Last year’s trip to Anfield – like many in recent seasons – was something of a nightmare as the Reds quick attack shredded the Gunners to record a 5-1 victory. Sokratis predicts a better showing this year.
“The 5-1 last season, it was not the game to take five goals – [there was] the penalty kicks, we made mistakes,” he reflected.
“I think this year will be different, but we have to improve of course from the work we do with the coach and his staff. We have to be prepared for this game. It will be difficult of course.
“It was not only this game we learned from [last season]. We learned from Chelsea, Manchester City. We know already to be at this level you have to improve and to have more confidence and character when you go to play there. We have to go there and play our game. We have to have confidence and be together for 90 minutes.
“It is a different game [from Burnley]. If they are on good day and you are having a bad day, it is hard.
“I think that we have to go and play our game. In the end, we know that it is difficult and we respect Liverpool a lot. But I think the best [way] is to go and play our style of game. We will see what happens.”