Sokratis Papastathopoulos believes he can form as strong a defensive partnership with new Arsenal signing David Luiz as he did with Mats Hummels at Borussia Dortmund.
The Gunners made a surprise move to bring in Luiz from rivals Chelsea on transfer deadline day and he made his debut alongside Sokratis in Saturday’s 2-1 Premier League win over Burnley.
Greece international Sokratis joined last summer but despite some good performances he struggled to help improve an Arsenal defence which again proved to be their Achilles heel.
The no-nonsense 31-year-old will now be hoping to develop an understanding with Luiz and feels their contrasting styles could help form a similar to bond he enjoyed alongside Hummels during their three seasons together in Germany.
“I have known him for a lot of years,” Sokratis said of his new team-mate.
“He also speaks some Greek and is a very good guy. I am happy also that we took a player like him, with experience.
Luiz made his Arsenal debut in Saturday’s win over Burnley. (Yui Mok/PA)
“When I was in Dortmund I played with Hummels, who has the same style as David. It was also a very good partnership and it is very good (now with Luiz).
“It was his first game, it is important that we won and we can go from here.”
A trip to Liverpool is next up for Sokratis, Luiz and Arsenal – who were thrashed 5-1 at Anfield last season – before they host Tottenham in the first north London derby of this campaign
While the pair were able to start together with victory over Burnley, Sokratis believes facing Jurgen Klopp’s side – who offer a less physical approach than the Clarets – could make it an easier afternoon.
Roberto Firmino scored a hat-trick the last time Arsenal played at Anfield. (Peter Byrne/PA)
“It was important because the other team played very good – not very good football but they play this style of game where every time they like to fight for second balls,” he said about the win over Burnley.
“It was good, it was a hard game and an important three points. It is good because we go to the derbies with six points.
“It (playing Liverpool) is a different game. Maybe it is more easy, because you don’t have to fight a lot – but they also play football. If they are on good day and you are having a bad day, it is hard.”
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