Konstantinos Mavropanos impressed supporters again with his latest performance for FC Nurnberg, as they drew 1-1 with Erzgebirge Aue.
Mavropanos faced Erzgebirge Aue with loan club FC Nurnberg on Friday, in his second match since returning from injury and the coronavirus shutdown.
It was never going to be an easy game, with Erzgebirge currently sitting 10 places higher in the 2. Bundesliga table. However, they managed to come away with a 1-1 draw, thanks largely to another positive performance from Mavropanos.
The centre-back dominated in the air, winning all seven of his aerial duels. He also made three tackles, three interceptions, won four of his five ground duels and completed 85% of his passes including 22/28 long balls.
That all combined to make him the highest-rated Nurnberg player on WhoScored (with 7.4). Unfortunately, he just missed out on winning the third Man-of-the-Match award of his loan spell to Jan Hochscheidt (7.5) on the other team.
Mavropanos did pick up a booking for his only foul of the match, but otherwise, it was a good performance. There wasn’t anything he could do about the Erzgebirge goal on this occasion.
So the loan spell is all going well?
Before we get carried away, let’s take a brief look back at last week’s performance against St. Pauli. Unfortunately, I couldn’t cover it for the site due to personal circumstances, but I did watch the game.
Mavropanos put in another solid performance for the most part, but with the caveat that he made a game-changing mistake early in the second half.
The 22-year-old stepped up to try and play offside but got his timing wrong, allowing St. Pauli in on goal. The goalkeeper rushed out of his area and conceded a free-kick, earning a red card in the process.
He took the fall for Mavropanos’ error and it ended 1-0 to their opponents.
That’s one area of the defender’s game he still needs to get right. He can sit in his box and head away long balls all day long, but playing in a high line for a club like Arsenal you also need to judge your defensive line correctly more often than not.
Then there are the injury problems. Mavropanos only missed a couple of games in late February/early March, but he continues to struggle to put a few months together without another setback.
None of this is meant to write off the defender’s chances at Arsenal. He has a lot going for him, particularly in terms of aerial duels and interceptions. But he must stay fit and focus on developing an understanding with his defensive partners.