Konstantinos Mavropanos aiming for an Arsenal breakthrough in 2019
On 4th January 2018, Konstantinos Mavropanos completed a surprise move to English side Arsenal, having quickly made a name for himself with PAS Giannina in the Greek Super League. However, despite a promising start and three appearances last season, which quickly endeared him with Gunners fans, the talented young defender has struggled with injury problems.
Everything seemed to bode well for the player ahead of the 2018-19 season, with new Arsenal manager Unai Emery very much aware of the Greek under-21 international and his level of ability, which had tempted the club’s head of recruitment, Sven Mislintat, to make Mavropanos his first signing after being appointed to the role.
An early indication of the confidence of Emery was more than evident during the summer, when the Spaniard opted to let Calum Chambers leave Arsenal on loan to Fulham, while retaining Mavropanos in his first-team plans after the young central defender produced highly impressive displays during pre-season.
While the heart of defence was reinforced by the summer signing of Greek compatriot Sokratis Papastathopoulos, with the experienced 30-year-old arriving from Borussia Dortmund to play alongside Shkodran Mustafi, with club captain Laurent Koscielny recovering from a ruptured Achilles, there was a strong vote of confidence from Emery in regarding both Mavropanos and Rob Holding as ideal candidates to provide cover and challenge for starts.
Arsenal made a stuttering start to the season as Emery began his managerial reign at the club, losing their opening games of the campaign against Manchester City and Chelsea. However, the Gunners are now amongst the Premier League betting favourites to finish in the top-four, having since remained unbeaten after a superb run of form.
Unfortunately for both Arsenal and Mavropanos, who recently celebrated his 21st birthday, a troublesome groin injury suffered earlier this season has kept the player out of action, without having made a single appearance during the current Premier League campaign. Yet there does appear to be light at the end of the tunnel, and the timing for a return to action couldn’t be better.