Sokratis Papastathopoulos admits that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan helped to talk him into a move to Arsenal, with the former Borussia Dortmund team-mates being reunited in north London.
The Gunners have wrapped up a third signing of the summer, with €19 million (£16.7m/$22.4m) invested in an experienced Greece international defender.
The hope is that Sokratis can hit the ground running in English football, with the presence of some familiar faces set to aid the 29-year-old’s adjustment to life in the Premier League.
Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan have previously worked with the commanding centre-half in Germany, with all three men now looking forward to opening their first full campaign with Arsenal in 2018-19.
Sokratis told the club’s official website on the role two men he knows well played in his switch to Emirates Stadium: “I spoke [to them] a lot times.
“They said to me the best things about this club, that it is one big family and of course they also called me not every day but a lot of times telling me to come here.
“It’s a little bit [strange] but it’s also very beautiful that I’ve come to one team but I also have two players who I was together with for a lot of years.
“I know them both very well and I’m very happy.”
Sokratis joins Stephen Lichtsteiner and Bernd Leno in joining Arsenal during the summer transfer window, with new Gunners manager Unai Emery starting his rebuilding project at the back.
Papastathopoulos will provide vast experience and a physical presence in that area of the field, with a man filling the void created by Per Mertesacker’s retirement confident that he can help to plug any defensive leaks.
He added on his best attributes: “I’m a normal defender who likes to defend.
“I like that my team doesn’t [concede] goals and I like the zero in the defence of course. I will do everything to help achieve these goals.”
Sokratis will see his skills put to the test early on in the new Premier League season, with it possible that he could make a competitive debut on the opening weekend against reigning champions Manchester City.