Arsenal made Konstantinos Mavropanos their first signing of the January transfer window on Wednesday. Let’s take look at who he is, where he’s come from and what he can do.
Mavropanos is a central defender, and before signing for the Gunners he was playing for PAS Giannina in the Greek Super League.
He made his debut for the side just over a year ago, starting a cup match against Agrotikos in November 2016.
That day he helped the team to a clean sheet, and he started three more games before the end of the season.
Then came his real breakthrough.
The 20-year-old became a regular in the starting eleven from the start of this campaign, and he was spotted by Arsenal’s new head of recruitment, Sven Mislintat.
In fact, the only game Mavropanos has missed this league season was due to a suspension from an accumulation of yellow cards.
He earned himself six bookings in 14 league games, so he’s certainly not one to shy away from a challenge. However, he’s yet to see red in his senior career, so that’s a positive sign.
As well as picking up bookings, the Greek defender also scores goals fairly regularly, considering his position.
He’s very strong in the air, and stands at 6’4″, so as a result he’s threatening from set pieces. It’s not just height though, he also times his jumps very well to maximise his chances of winning aerial duels.
In those 14 league games, Mavropanos has three goals, and all of them were headers.
But despite his height, the centre-back is no slouch in the pace department either.
EPLSL write in their scouting report that the Greek u21 international is very agile for his size. He’s certainly much more nimble than he appears at first glance.
Greek football journalist George Tsitsonis also gave his opinion on the defender to Sky Sports.
He reiterated most of the above assessment, but also added a couple of points.
Firstly, the defender is a humble, down-to-earth hard worker. He’s a strong characters as well, and is willing to lead. However, he does need to work on his first touch and close control, considering he’s joining Arsenal.
But as a tough, pacey and tall player, Mavropanos shouldn’t have any problems with the Premier League physically.
He just needs more defensive experience in one of Europe’s top leagues. Hence Arsene Wenger’s assertion that the defender will go out on loan for now.
Hopefully he finds a new club quickly, and has a successful few months before joining the squad for pre-season.
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