Five signings that Unai Emery could make this summer
Stephan Lichtsteiner's free transfer was announced before Switzerland faced Japan in their last friendly before the World Cup in Russia. The Swiss captain was widely expected to join Arsenal in the summer as a free agent after seven years at Juventus. Emery praised the right-back for having ''experience and leadership'', which will be a great addition to the atmosphere in the Arsenal dressing room.
In Arsene Wenger's last season with the club, the Gunners' defense often crumbled under pressure. The team conceded 51 goals, the most among the top seven teams. Improving his side's defense has clearly emerged as the top priority for Emery, as he would have to deliver to the Arsenal fans as soon as the next season begins. After missing out on UEFA Champions League for two consecutive seasons, the fans are eager for the club to return to the first tier European competition as soon as possible.
David Seaman, the club's former goalkeeper, mentioned that Arsenal need to make at least three signings this summer and aim for a return to the top four. Arsenal are yet to sell any of their senior players and the future of Jack Wilshere remains uncertain. With a limited budget, Emery certainly has identified a number of players who he is keen on bringing in to the side. However, it remains to be seen how the negotiations progress and how keen the player is on moving to North London. Here is a look at five signings that Emery could make in the upcoming weeks.
#5 Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Borussia Dortmund)
The Greek defender is all but confirmed to be joining Arsenal in the summer. Fans have been awaiting the official announcement from the club, but there remains no word on his arrival. Close to a week ago, the player's father mentioned that his son was in England and had snubbed an offer from Manchester United. It seems like the deal is largely completed, but rumors state that Dortmund are waiting for the first of July, when the club will enter the next financial year.
The center-back is particularly strong in passing and emerges strongly in aerial duels. At 30 years of age, Sokratis has played in Greece, Italy, and Germany. It would be the first time that he plays for an English club if the deal goes through. Over his five years with Dortmund, he has made 198 appearances and received a straight red just once. Back in 2017, he was regarded as one of the best defenders in Bundesliga because of his physicality and consistency. His style of play will allow him to quickly adapt to the standard in the Premier League. Additionally, with Greece not playing in this year's World Cup, Sokratis would have the chance to link up with his new team-mates for pre-season games and training.
Arsenal are poised to sign the player for just £16 million. The Arsenal vice-captain, Laurent Koscielny, is set to miss the first half of the season after his Achilles injury in May. Besides that, Shkodran Mustafi was awful for the majority of the past season. The German's popularity among the fans has dropped drastically he could be sold in the summer. Other than Mustafi and Koscielny, Arsenal lack senior center-backs on the team. Hence, getting Sokratis into the team will be a necessary and great addition for the English side.