Impressive Mavropanos earns high praise after Arsenal debut
Young Greek centre-back Konstantinos Mavropanos created headlines in the English Premier League, impressing with his superb performance against Manchester United in his senior Arsenal debut.
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21-year old Mavropanos, who transferred to Arsenal from Super League outfit PAS Giannina in January, was gifted his Arsenal debut on the weekend, playing the full 90 minutes against Manchester United. Despite lacking experience at the top level, the Greek stood out with his fantastic play at Old Trafford, keeping the hosts’ powerful attack quiet and displaying excellent composure on the ball. Following the final whistle, head coach Arsene Wenger and club legend Thierry Henry praised the talented Mavropanos, pointing out his calmness when on the ball and his visible ability.
Former Arsenal forward Ian Wright joined in with the positivity surrounding Mavropanos, even going as far to suggest the Gunners should start the Greek in Thursday’s crucial UEFA Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid. “I haven’t seen a performance like this, the anticipation, the pace, the awareness, from Arsenal for a long time,” beamed Wright. “I don’t think we’ve got anything to lose by playing him. You could put him up against Diego Costa, he looked like he was up for the battle. He’s fearless and has the exuberance of youth. It might work.”
Elsewhere in the English media, journalists were taken aback by the defender’s dominance against players such as Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku. Mavropanos was included in the headline for their player ratings articles and received an 8/10 for his play in Manchester.
In the USA, the ESPN organisation also gave Mavropanos an 8/10, lauding the Greek with plaudits for his brilliant 92% pass accuracy in his maiden English Premier League match: “Under the circumstances, it was an outstanding debut. He didn’t look fazed at all by the occasion, won his headers and to finish the match with 92 percent pass accuracy at Old Trafford speaks to a real sense of composure.”
Arsenal teammate Calum Chambers felt comfortable next to Mavropanos in defence: “He did really well. He’s a good player, he was strong out there and he held his own. I thought he was composed on the ball and had a good game. I thought all of the young players had a good game and you know, it’s one of those. We feel we deserve more than what we got.”
On Twitter, plenty of Arsenal fans from all over the world were pleasantly shocked by Mavropanos’ wonderful match in Manchester, as many revealed their desire for the defender to replace the shaky Shkodran Mustafi for the Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid on Thursday. While everyone has to be careful not to get carried away, Mavropanos boasts huge potential and has set the bar extremely high for himself.
Here is a video of Konstantinos Mavropanos’ performance against Manchester United in the English Premier League: