Mikel Arteta has thanked Sokratis for his contribution to the club and his understanding at his exclusion from the squad this season.
The Greek international left Arsenal yesterday having been omitted from the Premier League and Europa League lists, and ahead of the FA Cup clash with Southampton on Saturday, the manager wished him well.
“First of all I want to thank him because he is such a professional and great person to work with,” said Arteta.
“It’s a shame because this season we have a lot of central defenders, we are overloaded with foreign players and I had to make a decision.
“It was a tough one and to be fair he took it really, really well, he has always been really supportive and helpful, so from the bottom of my heart I wish him the best.
“It has been a pleasure to work with him and I wish the best for him and his family in the next chapter.”
The defender is expected to announce his new club shortly.
Meanwhile, there has yet to be confirmation of Mesut Ozil’s move to Fenerbahce, primarily because of quarantine rules which the German has to abide by having travelled from London earlier this week.
It’s fully expected to be completed as soon as he has completed that period of isolation, and Arteta was keen to acknowledge his contribution to the club, while insisting he has to take the team in a different direction now.
“He is a great footballer,” he said. “A really talented footballer.
“A player who has done a lot for the football club but at the moment I want to take the team in a different direction.
“If we were to have more options, then maybe he was part of some plans – he was part of some plans at the start, and he wasn’t at the end.”
Pressed on what direction he meant, the manager continued, “Arsenal has to challenge for every trophy, and every game has to be won.
“That is the standard, and the level and the history related to us. I want to do that in a way that our DNA shows, which is using a lot of talent, young talent as well, using players from our academy and building something different.
“In the last few seasons we have so many different issues not to achieve what we want and in my opinion there were things that have to be changed and slowly, to build something, you have to change some pieces and we are in that process.”