Football News

Former Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund star Sokratis joins Real Betis on short-term loan

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 17:30, 27 October 2023

Real Betis have completed the signing of Sokratis Papastathopoulos on a short-term loan.

The former Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal defender became a free agent this summer after his contract with Olympiacos expired.

Sokratis, 35, subsequently penned a contract that will keep him at the La Liga side until this season concludes.

He also joins a team in the midst of a centre-back crisis. Head coach Manuel Pellegrini lost Luiz Felipe to Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Ittihad after the summer transfer window shut in Europe.

A few weeks later the former Barcelona academy graduate Marc Bartra injured his Achilles tendon consequently leaving the Anduluisan side with only German Pezzella and Chadi Riad as their sole options.

It hasn’t greatly affected Betis’ league performance with Pellegrini’s side currently sitting in ninth through 10 matches. However, of the sides occupying the first 10 positions they’ve shipped in 14 goals, which is the joint-most.

Betis will be Sokratis’ eighth different club with him previously representing Werder Bremen and Milan as well as the aforementioned Gunners and BVB.

Sokratis made no fewer than 198 appearances for Die Schwarzgelben with the majority of those outings coming under Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel.

His time in North London wasn’t as successful though he did leave with an FA Cup winner’s medal.

Sokratis is also a former Greece international having collected 90 caps while featuring at the 2010 and 2014 World Cup finals as well as Euro 2012.