The contract between Arsenal and Sokratis Papastathopoulos has been terminated early, the north-London club have officially confirmed.
Having previously played for the likes of AEK Athens, Genoa, AC Milan and Werder Bremen, the Greek centre-back joined Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2018, for a fee believed to have been around €20 million.
Between then and now, Sokratis played a total of 69 games in all competitions for the Gunners, scoring six goals. His first season at the Emirates went relatively well – he started 25 Premier League games and was an important part of a rather fragile back line. However, his significance gradually dropped and practically disappeared when Mikel Arteta replaced Unai Emery at the helm.
This term he hasn’t played for the first team at all, and with that in mind, the cancellation of his contract seems a logical move, both for the club who won’t be paying a 32-year-old player who isn’t playing, and for Sokratis who will now be able to find employment, and hopefully regular game-time, elsewhere as a free agent. AS Roma and Genoa have reportedly expressed an interest in taking him back to Italy in recent months.
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