Greek football expert and Sport24 reporter Dimitris Samolis reckons that Sven Mislintat has indeed unearthed a real gem in Konstantinos Mavropanos.
According to Samolis, the transfer caused waves in the 20-year-old’s homeland because they’d not seen a youngster, who had made just 16 appearances in the Greek league, sign for a club like Arsenal before.
“Of course, there are Greek players who play in top level, like [Borussia Dortmund’s Sokratis] Papastathopoulos and [Roma’s Kostas] Manolas,” said the Greek football expert.
“But what surprised us is that a 20-year-old centre-back with 16 appearances will continue his career in Arsenal.
“Every newspaper and website gave so much focus to this transfer.”
The centre-back has been in first team training at London Colney but it’s believed he’ll be sent out on loan soon with Werder Bremen thought to be the most likely destination. Understandably, he’s not quite ready for the Premier League just yet.
Saying this, the Guardian claims Mavro could start on the bench in the League Cup against Chelsea, which would rule out a loan move this month.
Just because Mavropanos isn’t ready for English football doesn’t meant to say he’s a push over. At least not according to Samolis.
“The biggest advantage of Mavropanos is his body. Tall player and powerful,” Samolis said.
“Although he is tall, he is also fast and agile. He is very good with the head, since he can score 5-6 goals per season.
“Very important with him is his character. Humble, patient and loves to work hard.”
Arsenal do need a first team centre-back at the moment given that they never replaced Gabriel when he signed for Valencia last summer. Nor have they replaced Per Mertesacker who retires from playing to take over as head of the academy at the end of the season.
Plus, Laurent Koscielny’s Achilles is giving him an increasing amount of hassle so it’s unclear how long he’ll play for.
Although Mavro obviously isn’t the short-term solution we need right now, it’s good to see Arsenal preparing for the future and Mislintat getting stuck in already.