Sokratis Papastathopoulos says it will be a special game for him facing up against Arsenal with Olympiacos, after the Europa League Round-of-16 draw.
Sokratis’ Arsenal career was brought to a premature end in the summer, as he was left out of the Premier League and Europa League squads despite remaining at the club to the end of the transfer window.
As a result, his final appearance for the Gunners remains a substitute showing against Chelsea in the FA Cup final last year. After a few months of training with the first team and playing with the u23s, he completed a move away to Olympiacos in January.
Ironically, that move is now going to get him another match at the Emirates Stadium. Olympiacos drew Arsenal for their Europa League Round-of-16 clash, and Sokratis says it will be a tough match but a special one too.
“This game is something special [for me],” Sokratis said. “I believe it will be a difficult game. Arsenal is a very big team.
“[Since last year’s clash] they have the same coach with two or three new players, it’s a team with very high quality but we also have points that we can hit.”
Sokratis made 69 appearances for the Arsenal first team. He played a large part in their run to the Europa League final, started half of the FA Cup matches in last season’s trophy win and made 44 further appearances in the Premier League.
Mikel Arteta never seemed to warm to the defender’s style of play, but he got a good move to Olympiacos in the end. Arteta and some of the young players praised Sokratis’ attitude upon his departure.
We wish him all the best for every match he plays except the upcoming two against Arsenal.