Former Gunner Stathis Tavlaridis says new signing Konstantinos Mavropanos has everything it takes to succeed, and he’s sure the 20-year-old will make it to the first-team.
Tavlaridis was the first and only Greek player to sign for Arsenal until this month. He recently retired at the age of 37, 13 years after leaving the Gunners. The centre-back never quite managed to break into Arsenal’s first eleven, thanks to players like Sol Campbell and Kolo Toure, but he thinks Mavropanos can take that extra step.
“First of all I was very happy when I heard the news. He’s a very good player with a big future ahead of him,” Tavlaridis told Goal.
“But the most important thing for me is to have a good character and be a humble person if you want to build a long career. Talent is not the only important thing, good character is too.
“Mavropanos has the whole package to have a very successful career. I am sure he will go on to play for the first team because he has the personality and quality to make it.”
Tavlaridis clearly has a lot of happy memories in North London, and clearly learned a lot as well. He says spending time around the superstars of the invincible era helped shape his career. So he wants Mavropanos to take advantage of the new environment as much as he can.
“He will see so many things that will be life lessons for him,” the Greek defender explained. “When I arrived there [at Arsenal] I saw some things in this team which I will never forget in my life.
“For example, when I saw how the likes of Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry and Tony Adams treated the Arsenal staff [equally] that was a big surprise. That’s what makes Arsenal such a massive club for me. The small differences.
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“I said to myself that I have to be humble and work hard because before I joined Arsenal I thought the big stars would have big egos – but I was wrong and that was a big surprise for me.
“They were so good with me and helped me a lot, especially players like Tony Adams and David Seaman. I was so lucky.”
Hopefully the Gunners’ newest signing has a similarly positive experience at the club. He’ll probably only get to spend a small amount of time there before being loaned out, but if he can learn about Arsenal and get to know some of the staff and players, he’ll benefit later.
The 20-year-old has already been spotted in training with the Gunners, so he’s not wasting time waiting for a move. Now he just needs to get his future sorted quickly and start playing matches again.