4 Arsenal signings ready to make an impact in 2018/19 season
Last Tuesday, the whole of England watched late into the night as the Three Lions finally came out on top in a penalty shootout. For Arsenal and Colombian international David Ospina, it meant a round of sixteen exit and a return to the world of club football.
The Colombian goalkeeper was one of the last players to return to London from Russia, with many of Arsenal’s players suffering group stage exits. With the Lucas Torreira signing now fully confirmed, this is an appropriate time to see how Arsenal’s new acquisitions will fare.
Many rumours have swirled around about Arsenal’s 50-million-pound budget; a minuscule amount compared to the hundreds of millions being spent right around Europe. Unai Emery has, therefore, had to be very astute and reserved in his spending, despite the many areas that need addressing. The lack of Champions League football also restricts the players available to the Spaniard, as he looks to get Arsenal back into Europe’s elite competition.
With the Greek defender out of contract next summer, a transfer away from Borussia Dortmund was always on the cards. Arsenal were the first to take advantage, in their attempt to address their center-back problems; problems that have needed solving for years and were simply not addressed under Arsene Wenger.
Sokratis offers leadership and stability, with vast experience at both club and international level and really bolstered his reputation and value during his time at Dortmund. In his first season, the Greek center-half was named in the 2013-2014 Bundesliga Team of the Season, although injuries have hampered his progress ever since.
Sokratis has also had to deal with not having a constant centre-back partner and had several different teammates in that position during his time at Dortmund; Neven Subotic, Mats Hummels, Sven Bender and Omer Toprak. Centre-halves need to play together regularly in order to build a sturdy and successful partnership; an opportunity the Greek defender did not have. He might find more joy in London with a consistent centre-back ally, in the form of Shkodran Mustafi or Callum Chambers.
The negotiations for this transfer were done rather quickly, thanks to the arrival of Sven Mislintat; the former head of recruitment for Borussia Dortmund and the man who brought Sokratis from Schalke to BVB. With the Greek international now 30, this could well be the last move he makes in his career and his last chance to win any silverware, after a trophyless five years at Dortmund.