Monday, May 20, 2024

Arsenal announce Sokratis contract termination agreement

Arsenal have announced they have come to an agreement with Sokratis Papastathopoulos over the early termination of his contract.

The Greek defender had less than 6 months of his current deal to run, and would have been available for free during the summer.

Like Mesut Ozil, soon to be a Fenerbahce player, Sokratis was not named in the squads for the Premier League or Europa League this season.

The 31-year-old joined from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2018 for a fee of around £16m. Since then he has made 69 appearances in total, the last of which came in the FA Cup win over Chelsea in August.

In some ways he’s been a bit unfortunate, while not the greatest defender to have come through the club, he never made the same volume of calamitous errors as Shkodran Mustafi, for example.

He is now a free agent, and will be able to agree terms with a new club as soon as he finds one. He’s had links to Turkey, Italy and Spain, and fingers crossed he can make a decent move.

He obviously leaves on good terms, with Technical director Edu saying: “On behalf of Mikel, our coaches, players and everyone at the club, I would like to thank Papa for his contribution to the club.

“He has been an important part of our group and has been a model professional throughout. The negotiations to end his contract have been collaborative and we wish Papa and his family well for the future.”

Best of luck to him.

Related articles


Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Who would have guessed a year ago that Sokratis would leave before Mustafi?

Not the best defender, but did try to do his best. Wish him good luck!

Naked Cygan

Wait till Barca come for Mustafi.

Viv The 🐐

Still waiting. I would love to see that. My Barca friends don’t like the sound of that. I’m just asking why. 😉 😉

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Mustafi IN, Umtiti OUT.
Things change in life.

Johnny 4 Hats

Well, with Mustafi, Sok and Ozil gone or going, that’s a nice healthy £100m in transfer fees given away for free. Add that to an on loan defender and a misfiring winger and that’s £200m down the drain.

It’s a good job we aren’t a club in need of money.

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Fuzzy math! There’s been some (a lot of) amortization of the transfer fees.
By the way, I read Arteta said we would miss Ozil’s quality. As anti-Ozil as I was, this was the most disingenuous statement I heard in my life. Excluded from Carabao Cup games on football reasons but you will miss his quality?


@Nacho Bro just let the Ozil saga go…. it’s over. Move on with your life and focus on the positive team that now plays every week.

Johnny 4 Hats

There’s a lot of fans that will have to throw away their bedsheets and change their TikTok password from ‘Ozil104eva’…

Johnny 4 Hats

Ozil (42) + Sok (16) + Mustafi (35) = 93
Pepe (72) + Saliba (27) = 99

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Arsenal probably recouped that 93 million off the back of Ozil’s worldwide followers alone, over the course of his time at Arsenal. Those 3 players coming to the last stage of their careers would never be sold now for anything like what they were brought in for. The real problem here is the club over paying for players and giving undeserved contracts

Johnny 4 Hats

Mustafi and Ozil were signed in their mid 20’s. If you bought an expensive car or a washing machine and then no longer needed it, do you not think you might be able to recoup a little money back? I don’t think it’s too much to assume you might make a little back after they’ve spent a few seasons at the club.

As for £93m just on Özil’s fanbase. Well, that’s just mental. You know it doesn’t cost anything to send aggressive tweets right?

Merlin’s Panini

On the wages they were on no one was going to pay us to take them off our hands.


Lol the huge number gets downvoted like mad, but when you break it down, silence… Love it.

Johnny 4 Hats

Downvoting facts. Welcome to 2021. Postmodernism at its finest.

Johnny 4 Hats

Maybe fans who still lament the freezing out of Ozil should look at this “fuzzy maths” and realise that the real money wasted is in ineffectual transfers that recoup us zero on their way out.

Crash Fistfight

I can understand it with Ozil and Mustafi (maybe also Sok, to an extent) because they were on wages that nobody interested in them would be able to afford. But for players like Ramsey, Welbeck and Wilshere we should have sold them and got good money back. The most stupid one for me was Alexis. After his first season he was saying (to paraphrase) “the FA Cup is great, but we need to aim for more”. It was obvious he wasn’t going to sign an extension – we should’ve been reviewing the situation much earlier, and when Man City offered… Read more »


A player (or anything else) is only worth what someone is prepared to pay. If there were clubs fighting to sign any of the players you mention, you’d be right but as far as I recall there really wasn’t much interest. Added to that, there wasn’t a hope in Hell of getting “good money” for Wilshere with his injury record. If the position was reversed, are you really saying that Arsenal should have bought Wilshere for good money with that record? I don’t think so, so why expect another club to do it?

John C

This is nonsense, the real money was wasted when the club allowed overall quality of the squad to significantly drop between 2007/8 & 2013 despite making combined profits of around £190m during that period. From that point on we were playing catch up and it’s been a gap we’ve never been able to bridge. At no point since the signing of Ozil has the club had the level of quality to either compete at the top level or comfortably sell quality players at a profit because we’ve always been several players short of where we’ve needed to be to effectively… Read more »

Johnny 4 Hats

Yeah. You can only either waste money in 2007 or 2018. Never in both periods.

John C

We haven’t wasted money since 2018, we haven’t spent enough.

We haven’t had squads good enough to sell high earners to other clubs that can pay high earners, the number of which you can count on the fingers of your hands. So therefore the only clubs that want our players are poorer and therefore can’t afford the wages we pay, so we can’t sell them.


Pepe & Saliba joined us in 2019 isn’t it? …..For 72 and 28 mil respectively I would have expect them to be stars or at least starters on the pitch right now….That’s not counting the likes of Torreira, Sokrates and Litchsteiner whom one can argue, hasn’t really work out well for us…

Johnny 4 Hats

Clearly we should have spent even more. That really makes a lot of sense for a club that lives by its means.

Hey, it only took Leeds 15 years to recover from that.

John C

But as i pointed out earlier, the damage was done between 2008-2013 when the club made a profit of circa £190m, and allowed the quality of the squad to drop and have never recovered.


Look, the truth is that for many years now we’ve bought players consistently for good or very good money when their ability didn’t justify it. In addition we paid them good or very good salaries on long-term contracts which made them almost impossible to sell which is why we’re buying out their contracts to get them off the books. The worrying thing is that we’re still doing it, one way or another. Clearly, Pepe isn’t worth £72 million or anything like it and Willian at 30+ surely doesn’t justify a reported £7 million a year over a three (or even… Read more »

John C

We’ve consistently bought from the dangerous just below top money bracket. £72m for Pepe is a huge amount of money but when you consider guaranteed attacking quality like Neymar cost £200m it puts in perspective what you might get for £72m, a very expensive gamble i would suggest. These kinds of figures are dangerous because it’s clear Pepe has talent but he’s not an under the radar, unknown quantity talent. He’s very much on the radar to command a huge fee but he’s not from the guaranteed results price bracket of players, those are at least twice what we paid… Read more »

Johnny 4 Hats

Ah, I see. We need to pay double the £72m we paid for Pepe to ensure we get a world class player.

Like Dembele. And Coutinho.

John C

Exactly, like Allison and Van Dyke at Liverpool, both world records in their positions.

Or Ronaldo at Real

Interesting that you chose Dembele and Coutinho because they actually prove my point better than yours. Both replacements for Neymar, both cost 2/3rd of the price, both not as good.

John C

Depends how much money you have doesn’t it?

I would say buying Squillaci for £6m or Chamakh on a free in the summer we posted a £56m profit was a bigger waste of money than signing Willian on a free in a year we’re likely to have made a significant loss.

Willian was an attempt to stretch a limited budget with proven quality, the other 2 were being cheap and lead to a degrading of our asset base when we should have been trying to locking in our competitive advantage.

Eduar-do a deer

John Coffey. Like the drink but spelt differently. Also a little on the slow side.

Johnny 4 Hats

I think he’s trying to bring the past back to life…

John C

Not at all, merely pointing out that we haven’t spent enough to improve either the individual or collective quality of the squad


So we should only sign players based on our current quality.

By your stupid logic, there is no point buying good players to move up the table as we are a mid table club.


Boy you chat sum jazz. And lot of it! 🤫

Dave Cee

Amortization doesn’t mean free :/


Whatever the final figure, fuzzy or clear, it’s huge and given we have just applied for £120 million Covid bailout loan (still only one of two PL sides to do so, I think) we can ill-afford these kind of contract write-offs, although it was the only option in these cases given nobody wanted to buy any of the three mentioned in the earlier post. Further unfavourable transfers recently have just added to the general financial headache for the club and we’ll all see the results over the coming seasons unless MA can work a miracle on the pitch.


Aterta has never appeared to me as the most honest of men. Time will tell. Most coaches are brought down by their favorites.


Always makes me laugh when people downvote facts. You can’t criticise the club when we’re doing well Johnny. Haven’t you learnt that yet? 😂

Guns Up

Not that your point isn’t valid, because I agree that outgoing business has been generally poor for a long time, but the broader trend of players running down contracts (accurately predicted by Wenger) has had something to do with this.

And I prefer to focus on the positives – the current regime seems to be more effective at getting players out. It would be unfair to hold them accountable for mistakes of previous executives (I realize there is some overlap, but I think/hope the Tim Lewis appointment has turned the corner).

Dave Cee

Oh, wenger predicted it!. If only he could have predicted Ozil would be a waste of space, or Mkhi for Sanchez was a bad idea instead of taking 60m.


Ozil, a waste a space? Hate him if you want, but he will remain one of the best midfielders to ever play for Arsenal.

Dave Cee

Will he fuck! He had 1 good spell of about 4 months in 7 years. A colossal waste of money. Not fit to lace the boots of Vieira, Petit, Pires, Bergkamp and many, many others. Hell, even Nasri did more for the club

Johnny 4 Hats

Willian is proof that this current regime hasn’t learnt too much from previous errors…

John C

The difference being that our current regime are operating under completely different financial circumstances plus Willian is a short term signing to bridge the gap until youngster mature and for his professionalism and knowledge off the pitch

Dave Cee

Willian is bad signing whichever way you want to look at it

John C

Name me another club where players are running down their contracts in the numbers they have at Arsenal?


My guess would be every other club mate. My friends who support other clubs (Liverpool, Man UTD, Spuds and Newcastle predominantly) all have the same gripes as us. All clubs have a percentage of highly paid players either underperforming or sitting around not doing very much. This is not unique to Arsenal.

John C

Don’t guess and give me names, i can’t think of one

Guns Up

Messi, Alaba, Donnarumma, Memphis, Aguero, di Maria, Draxler, Bernat, Boateng… keep going?

John C

Those guys all play for the same team?

Guns Up

Three of them do.


barcelona is letting a lot of their core go for free/cheap. Messi might even leave for free.

like luis suarez. and rakitic who went cheap to sevilla (but also he wanted to go there and i think it was them being nice like us letting nacho go when we could’ve still used him for at least a season).

Barcelona somehow manage to be worse at squad building than us. Greizemann was a terrible purchase because of competition at his position and he doesn’t fit barca. not worse than pepe because someone would buy him maybe but still not good.


okay maybe not worse but definitely not good

John C

Barcelona are extreme outlier of poor management that goes beyond squad building


It’s true, but the reason why they are being released (bought out to be more accurate) is because nobody wants to buy any of them for a variety of reasons. The most obvious one is that none of the three you mention produce performances that justify their ridiculous wages and, overall, never have – although Ozil had his moments. It’s also no coincidence that all three we bought in the Wenger era when he had complete control over the transfer policy. Not his finest hours really. But just to show he’s not the only only one, you’re right that other… Read more »


So much fake news! Gazidis and Mislintat exercised a deal of control and power in Arsenal transfers during their tenures, often despite what Wenger would have wished. I recall Arsene saying he wouldn’t have given Ozil that contract for 350K/week but Gazidis sanctioned it. It also wasn’t Wengers bright idea to flog Giroud, Walcott, and Alexis in the same winter window to bring in PEA (remember Sven and Ivan photographed on the street in Dortmund?), thereby effectively betting the club’s fortunes on a top-4 finish in the league because those moves left the squad with one recognized goal-scorer for… Read more »

John C

There’s zero evidence in that article you posted that suggests Wenger was unhappy with Ozil’s wage, in fact his quotes appear to justify them.


Reading is fundamental:
“It has also been reported that Wenger was not happy at the club (Ivan Gazidis) sanctioning Ozil’s new deal when the wages were so ridiculous.”

John C

Reported by whom? There’s no evidence, only conjecture


You are misusing both evidence and conjecture.


Also here:
“This was, according to Miguel Delaney of the Independent, a deal that Arsène Wenger resented sanctioning (likely because it broke the structure of wages at Arsenal) implying that this was a deal pushed on by the higher-ups at the club — including Ivan Gazidis and Sven Mislintat.”

John C

No, the evidence implies the opposite.

Your article quotes Wenger saying;

“To buy players of top, top quality you need £100m. So the decision you have to make is whether you re-sign the player, who costs us nothing, or do we have the money to buy a new player?”

Implying he was happy to sanction Ozil’s £64m contract because it was significantly cheaper than the cost of a replacement.

Dave Cee

You recall Wenger saying that? Please do post the quote


And well well, did you miss the fact that Mustafi also rejected an offer for a contract extension?


I read Sokrates was the other player to not take a pay cut in summer. Hence they not in squad. As well as tactics by Arteta, because if passing .
Mental he has been fit all year . Chambers took his place ( or William silbras and has played about 60 minutes of football)

Dave Cee

Chambers is homegrown, had no impact on Papa or Saliba


Top professional. This game can be cruel that’s why you can’t really blame these players when they try to extract the best contract they can afford at any point in time.

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

You may like this one but it still shows the cut-throat nature of football.
Van Gaal told RVP: “You must go”. RVP responded “But I have a contract”. Van Gaal “I DON’T CARE”.
The guy was two years before his national team coach when his scored his flying goal in WC.


An absolutely professional at all times. Him and Kolasanic can hold their heads high and will be great players for the right club.

Best of luck to them both.


I completely agree. Both gave their all when they played. At the time it may have been ok. Now Arteta must build an Arteta side.


Good luck Papa!

Vastly underappreciated by the majority of our fanbase.

Traditional CB with excellent man marking and tackling skills.

Glad he acted as a role model for Holding

Naked Cygan

Well said.



Kampala gooner 🤣


El Mintero

You’re having a laugh…lol…championship-level clogger who should never have been signed. “Traditional” indeed…lol.

Seems like a nice guy and good luck to him but fuck me he was never Arsenal-class.


Hmmm. Name 5 defenders that were better than him the last decade

Dave Cee

Cost 17m, let go for free. Great signing


Let’s distinguish between the quality of the player and the success of a signing. Zlatan was a failure at Barcelona and Di Maria at Manure but that doesnt mean that their levels were low.

Ofc I am not suggesting that he was at that calibre but he was better than most of ourCBs and our inability to sell expand to many cases


Got a seasoned pro in the latter end of his prime years for a relatively low fee (for a decent CB), got a couple of years good use out of him where he never let us down and he moved on. I don’t see the issue, he served a purpose, never made a fuss and we were never going to recoup a fee.

Dave Cee

A relatively low fee? We could have had Johnny Evans for free. Even now 17M should buy a fairly decent CB with resale potential.
Nothing at all against Papa, he was fine, just not impressed by the business


I have a bit of a soft spot for papa. I couldn’t agree with this more.


Never made the same volume of calamitous errors as Shkodran Mustafi, should be on his CV while looking for a new club. Desire never in question good luck to him.

Cliff Bastin

Whilst Mustafi’s would say “Sure I have more calamitous errors that Papa Sokratis, but I also have more World Cups and FA cups than Gareth Bale.”

A Different George

More than Virgil Van Dijk, than John Stones, than Thiago Silva.


Kudos to Papa for showing professionalism throughout this whole process. Not once did you see him talk negatively or manipulate through social media or play the politics game. He put his head down and worked even though he found himself in a not so pleasant situation.


No non-sense defender on and off the pitch I guess.


Guessing you’re implying Ozil did all of those things, right? Yawn.

Guns Up

Hopefully, it’s not just coincidence that some of the dead weight is finally being cleared and burdens lifted from the payroll shortly after Tim Lewis’ arrival. I always liked Sokratis, felt he was underappreciated, and wish him all the best, but you simply can’t have players who aren’t registered for any competition soaking up valuable space on the wage bill.


Lewis isn’t here yet so credits don’t go to him for this


I cannot believe in one January transfer window we’ve shifted probably around 700k wages per week off the books


Not exactly. Because there maybe hidden termination clauses…

Gus Caesar

Yep, we’re probably going to be still paying the lion’s share of Ozil’s wages still and we’d have paid off Sokratis at least in part. We don’t suddenly have 700k in wages to splash until that stops.


I’m happy to see class acts like him get a chance to get back on the pitch. Their careers are short, and surely they want to play while they can.

That said, what more indictment is there of the management of this club that they literally cannot GIVE their players away, because their contracts are so out-of-market.

Stop signing old players, period. Please.


Still remember fondly of when he made a great tackle in the box and celebrated it like a goal. Good luck to him, hope he finds a decent club that suits him.


on willian that too in the 2-0 vs chelsea 2 years ago

Goodly morning

He was that sort of player and I loved him for it. Good at the dark arts as well. I thoroughly enjoyed his forays upfield where he was like a bulldozer.

Tasmanian Jesus

He did that several times. But yeah, true defender and a winners mentality.

Eddy F

Great as a CB, but clearly Arteta wants better ball players across his team, and that was never a strength of his.

Eddy F

Also, number 5 shirt is now free. Rob Holding’s come next season? Or do we still expect a new signing.


Partey was No5 at Atletico

He might fancy it again


I hope he takes the 8 from Ceballos

Nainsley Aitland Miles


Timorous Me

He already got the number 4 shirt, actually.


Good luck Papa top lad consumate professional and a real defender with tenacity. Don’t like the way he was treated by the management he deserved better !


We completely overestimated the strength of our hand We had an oversupply of players, and an undersupply of squad places 9 senior centre half’s In a very weak market, that’s much more likely to get weaker, before it gets any stronger Outside a few clubs with wealthy backers, there’s no money We’re stuck with our dross, players won’t want to take substantial pay cuts, and receiving fees is going to be very difficult Handing Willian a monster 3 yr deal, and Aubameyang a monster 3yr deal, was mental. I think we’re about to see big deflation in transfer fees and… Read more »

Dave Cee

This. Can’t agree more. Big fan of Party but we paid through the nose. Auba at 400k is crazy. We never learn. Fuck Willian


Good luck Papa. Always fun to watch your wrestling and card collection.

You’ll be on that fated honours board of Arsenal centre backs beginning with S who never quite made it – Stepanovs, Squillaci, Silvestre, Senderos, Shkodran and Sygan (I know it’s C, but stretch the point) and maybe to be joined at some point by Saliba?

Don’t sign centre backs starting with S may be the moral.


What about great ones that did make it? Sol Campbell, Steve Bould?

Diaby's Left Peg

Don’t count do they, K and B…


Sssstupid comment.

Goodly morning

Senderos in the Champions league final run was great.


Gus Seasar


Played with passion and dedication every game, all the best!


I’m probably being a SNAG but I actually think this is sort of shitty. I guess he got paid all this time, and now he can sign as a free agent and doesn’t really lose out financially or anything but he was always an extremely good professional, put in a lot of solid performances for us – loads of 7/10 games – and never ruffled even a solitary feather in or out of the club. Well, maybe the feathers of the mother of the player he slide tackled magnificently in our box, sending said player crashing into the hoardings and… Read more »


He was our bastard. I’ll miss him too. Good luck Papa.

Darren Jaynoy

Hope he ended up getting an FA Cup winners medal. He made sure all the other subs got one then it looked like they ran out.

A sad arsenal fan

Going to miss you, Papa…


In spite of the relief one feels at seeing the deadwood (not necessarily a reflection on the players being moved, if Arsenal can afford to have Mustafi and Willian in the squad), it is actually bleak to see that they have essentially lost their job. No matter the clauses, wages, whatever else. It feels just as terrible as the people laid off, possibly a bit more given that they were people we saw on the pitch.

Diaby's Left Peg

They haven’t been “laid off” their contracts will have been paid up allowing them to negotiate terms elsewhere.

I feel worse for the 55 people the club actually sacked in the summer (having told the players they were taking wage cuts to avoid this) than a multimillionaire having 6 months wages paid early…

Gus Caesar

This is quite possibly the strangest comment i’ve ever seen on this site. Man gets handed millions of pounds and the opportunity to negotiate even more millions for himself much quicker than he would otherwise. Yeah, poor bloke, i’m heartbroken for him.

Dave Cee

Careful Papa doesn’t slide tackle you in the dole queue mate


This man has just made more money by getting “laid off” than I will ever make.

And unlike him, I work for said money.

So, no, I don’t feel terrible about this poor multimillionaire being paid to go play a children’s game for further millions somewhere else.

Kanu Believe It

He’d be a good freebie for West Brom, but I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.


Like Kanu?

Runcorn Gooner

All the best for the future Papa. Did a good job overall and no complaints.
Now Willian fancy a contract cancellation?


Sad to see him go, I liked him. I thought he was a solid defender, I genuinely thought he would be our new Martin Keown, providing stability to allow those more talented to flourish. Alas 😔

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

We were obviously watching a different Sokratis

Cranky Colin

Never did understand why Arsenal and Papa didn’t get on.
I’d rather him than Luiz in our back 4, not to mention Mustafi.
Shit, what do I know?

Gus Caesar

Basically his passing ability wasn’t very good. Otherwise he was arguably the best central defender we had (admittedly not a great bunch) – he was deceptively quick, he read games well, was strong in the air and strong in the tackle. In the same way that some small/weak strikers lost their way when one up front became the trend and when some great keepers were found out by the backpass rule, Sokratis’ Arsenal career was essentially the victim of changes in tactical fashions.


I’d always just assumed he was one of those players that was frozen out for not accepting the pay cut along with Ozil? Sure he wasn’t quite as good as Ozil but he definitely wasn’t so bad to warrant total exclusion from the squad…

Although the cup final cameo debunks that to an extent

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Long may the discarding of unwanted, expensive junk continue.

Wow……. hope you don’t have children mate


I was never sold on Sokratis personally but that’s positively rancorous…

Public Elneny Number One

I’ve always had a soft spot for Sokratis as he looks like my mate Phil if he was Greek.
Don’t worry Phil, even though he’s left you’ll always be Philkratis 😘


Our compliment of defenders if starting to look a lot more balanced… Bellerín, Cedric, Chambers, David Luiz, Gabriel, Holding, Marí, Mustafi, Tierney and Maitland-Niles as auxiliary full back…

Bill Hall

Best of luck to you Papa!

Wiltoooooooooord !!!

I loved the moment when he was handing out the FA Cup medals to youngsters.. also his tackling celebration against Chelsea when we beat them 2-0 at home couple of years back .. and trying to headbutt celebrate torreira after scoring the second goal against utd last season at home ..
Yep few nice things to remember him by (and smile)


I liked him. No nonsense decent shithousering old school centreback.


I rate Sokratis high. I think he is (was) number 2/3 of Arsenal’s central defenders, faster than Holding, much better in everything than Mustafi. He can tackle, he has a fair positional awareness. We would have needed him when Luiz serves time, or Gabriel is injured.

There is much football left in Sokratis, and his new club are lucky.


All the best to him. Great guy!

Dave Cee

Another waste of money. Is Ozil gone yet? Mustafi?



Why was he given such a long contract to begin with?

His wages were very high, and it’s not like there was a ton of competition for his services.

At his age, I just kind of assumed we were getting him for two years tops. I was legitimately surprised to find out that he still had a year left.

Another example of a player who isn’t fundametally terrible, but who isn’t at the level we want to be being paid too much for too long.

Don’t give mediocre players long term contracts.


Papa, the third fastest player on our books after Auba and Hector. We needed that speed at times.


Good news for both parties. He was never more than average if we’re being honest and as a result got booked/sent off too often for silly fouls. Having seen many of his games “live” at The Emirates I don’t think, overall, he really justified his £16 million price tag (if only we had the odd £16 million around now, eh – the good old days). Anyway, looks like the club is beginning to offload the surplus players of which there are still several on the books so it’s only a start.


Top professional, seems like a great guy and well versed in the dark arts of defending.
Probably too limited on the ball to play a big part in Arteta’s plans, but great to see it end in a friendly way

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast