Arsenal bolstered their defence this summer with the signings of Kieran Tierney, David Luiz and William Saliba. However, the latter has returned to Saint Etienne on a season-long loan deal. It was an area of Unai Emery’s squad that was in desperate need of an upgrade, given the Gunners conceded 51 Premier League goals last season.
Arsenal do now look more solid at the back. Luiz has brought plenty of experience and technical ability to the heart of the Gunners’ rearguard. The 32-year-old Brazilian made his debut for the club against Burnley on Saturday. He was partnered by fellow centre-back Sokratis, and the pair immediately looked to strike a comfortable partnership.
Speaking of Luiz, Sokratis said, “I have known him for a lot of years. He also speaks some Greek and is a very good guy. I am happy also that we took a player like him with experience. When I was in Dortmund I played with Hummels, who has the same style as David…we will have moments when we struggle, but we have to struggle all together…We need character and players like him”, as quoted by the official Arsenal website.
The powerful Greek defender also believes that Arsenal’s defence has been improved over the course of the summer. The 31-year-old said, “this year we have to find the situation where we struggle all together like a team…I think this year can be much better than the last year.
It is a huge positive for Arsenal that Sokratis and Luiz are able to communicate in a common language. Strong communication is key to building a successful defensive unit. On top of that, the fact that Sokratis clearly understands and respects Luiz’s style of play bodes well.
Beyond Luiz’s influence though, Sokratis makes it clear that he considers defending to be a collective effort, for which the whole team are responsible. If Emery’s side are to be more solid than last year, they have to become more effective at defending from the front.