Konstantinos Mavropanos could be set for a return to the Arsenal first team on Tuesday after Unai Emery’s side suffered another couple of key injuries against Manchester United.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 10: Konstantinos Mavropanos of Arsenal warms up prior to the Carabao Cup Semi-Final First Leg match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on January 10, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 10: Konstantinos Mavropanos of Arsenal warms up prior to the Carabao Cup Semi-Final First Leg match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on January 10, 2018, in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

As it stands, we have very little idea of exactly how long Sokratis Papastathopoulos or Laurent Koscielny will be out, after both suffered injuries on Friday. Nonetheless, it seems pretty likely that neither will be back in time for Tuesday’s match against Cardiff City, which means Unai Emery will have a decision to make.

Shkodran Mustafi should be fit, and at least he’s a centre-back, even if he didn’t impress many Arsenal fans with his performance against United.

After that, Emery could move Granit Xhaka to the back line to partner the German, or Stephan Lichtsteiner, or Nacho Monreal, but those solutions aren’t exactly ideal.

Instead, the head coach may turn to 21-year-old Mavropanos to make his return to the first team. The Greek defender spent the first five months of the season out with injury, but he played for the u23s last Monday and has been back in full training for a few weeks now.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 29: Konstantinos Mavropanos of Arsenal is challenged by Jesse Lingard of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on April 29, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – APRIL 29: Konstantinos Mavropanos of Arsenal is challenged by Jesse Lingard of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on April 29, 2018, in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Club coaches reportedly believe Mavropanos is ready to challenge for first-team starts when fit, and the player himself spoke of his desire to get back into the starting XI this week.

Even without the injuries, a game against Cardiff was surely one of the best options to give Mavropanos a chance to rejoin the senior action. Now, it seems like the only good option available. Let’s hope the young centre-back is ready and raring to go.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.