It appears that new Arsenal manager Unai Emery has not wasted any time in strengthening his side’s defense with what looks like the soon to be announced addition of Greek defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund.

The 29-year-old – who generally goes by the singular name of Sokratis, as newspaper editors will be delighted to hear – is in the final year of his contract with the German club and is expected to cost Emery £16 Million for his signature.

Sokratis was a name that was mooted in January, and was heard again before the end of Arsene Wenger’s tenure, so it would appear that this move was in the works prior to Emery taking over. Nonetheless, the new manager will no doubt be happy to have the centre-backs signature, as he proved to be highly capable in the Bundesliga.

Sokratis joined Dortmund from Werder Bremen in 2013. Prior to the two seasons he spent with Bremen (one on loan), he had been a fixture of defending in Serie A – first with Genoa from 2008-10, and the with AC Milan from 2010-2012.

The vastly experienced defender has 79 international caps with his nation, Greece, and enjoyed more playing time with Dortmund over his five years with the club than any other side, amassing an impressive 130 appearances and contributing 7 goals – not bad for a centre back.

During his time as Dortmund, Sokratis was a mainstay of the defense. While Bayern Munich have generally returned to their all-conquering ways in Germany, Sokratis managed to earn a German cup with his side last season (2016-17) and 2 Supercups (German equivalent of Community Shield).

During his five-year tenure with BVB, Sokratis became an integral component of the team – playing under 4 different coaches, he held onto his place in the starting team under each one.

Defensively, his performances were resolute – he proved to be a reliable “rock” at the foot of the team – so much so, that he was regularly handed the captains armband when long-time captain Marcel Schmelzer was unavailable.

His final season at the Dortmund will have been a tough one, but ultimately, it ended in a success of sorts. After not having much joy under either Peter Bosz or Peter Stoger, the Black and Yellows managed to qualify for the Champions League by the skin of their teeth, meaning Sokratis is leaving them on a high note.

With Laurent Koscielny picking up an Achilles injury that is expected to see him miss out on the first few months of the season, Sokratis appears to be a very wise acquisition. Throughout the team rebuilding is needed, and starting with a centre back certainly appears as good of place as any to start from.

There are other defensive changes likely during the Summer – more on them below – but as it stands it would be Shkrodan Mustafi and Sokratis marshalling centre back. With both players not attending the World Cup, they would be able to gain some time playing alongside each other during the opening stages of pre-season, which could serve them well.

Sokratis likely move has all the hallmarks of the new head of recruitment at Arsenal, Sven Mislintat. Formerly the chief scout with Dortmund, Mislintat has put his connections to good use since taking on the job in North London.

First there was Konstantinos Mavropanos, with the young defender seeing some game-time towards the end of the season. Then he went back to his old club to prepare his new one for the future.

Sokratis joins Henrikh Mkhitaryan – who joined from Manchester United, having played for Dortmund prior to them – and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who also played for BVB. With this being the case, there is a distinct Dortmund flavouring to Arsenal’s likely starting line-up for next season.

In terms of other transfers potentially in the pipeline, the rumour mill has been in overdrive so far this Summer. With a new manager, it would appear that the possibilities are near endless, with the club potentially going in a new direction.

Of the many possible names, alongside Sokratis in terms of credible links is Juventus fullback Stephen Lichtsteiner. The 34-year-old Switzerland international would be available from the Serie A Champions on a free transfer.

One of the complaints aimed at Arsenal’s defense last season was their age, but another thing that was clear was that leadership and experience was required. Lichtsteiner won’t solve all of Arsenal’s problems, but coupled with the likes of Sokratis could offer a good grounding to work from and introduce younger players to the fold from.

One of these players may be the highly-rated Caglar Soyuncu, with the Turkish 21-year-old being another reported potential signing. With interest from the likes of the two Manchester clubs and Atletico Madrid, the young defender comes highly sought after.

Speaking to the Turkish media about his future, Soyuncu said “Arsenal are one of the most important clubs in England. I know they’re interested in me, but there’s nothing finalized yet about my transfer.” Supporters will have to wait and see on this one.

It’s going to be a very busy Summer, so it is good to see that the foundations are being laid prior to the beginning of pre-season or indeed the World Cup, as big changes will be required at Arsenal.