Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta may already have the answer to the club’s long-term defensive issues. Konstantinos Mavropanos has started to build a name for himself while on loan in the Bundesliga, drawing comparisons to Bayern Munich-bound Dayot Upamecano. And Arsenal should definitely consider having the Greek in their first-team squad next season.
Mavropanos burst onto the scene in Arsene Wenger’s final few months in charge in 2018.
Arsenal fans were excited by what they saw from the centre-back in his handful of appearances.
There was also that memorable moment where the then chief executive Ivan Gazidis pointed out Mavropanos to Unai Emery at the Spaniard’s unveiling as Wenger’s replacement.
Gazidis said to Emery: “You know these players, Mavropanos, we’ve spoken about.”
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“We’re super happy that he’s been a regular starter in recent weeks,” Mislintat told The Athletic.
“We would like to keep him on loan one more season, if possible. But that will be down to Arsenal.
“He has all the hardware and all the software to be a great defender.
“He has been unfortunate, he’s got a lot of injuries. A pubic bone inflammation kept him out more or less for one and a half years.
“The moment we thought we could play him, he tore his meniscus. It’s important for us to get him fully match fit.”
Mislintat says Mavropanos’ pace puts him alongside the likes of RB Leipzig’s Upamecano, who has already agreed to join Bayern at the end of the season.
“If he can stabilise physically, he’s undoubtedly a Bundesliga-level defender,” he continued.
“He’s one of the fastest centre-backs in the league alongside Dayot Upamecano.
“A super guy, a model professional. You have to admire his energy, all the strength it took to get over his injuries.”
But if Mavropanos is that good, then they must bring him back and give him a chance to succeed in the Premier League.
Arteta is in the market for a right-sided centre-back, with Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konata a reported target.
But the answer to the defensive problems may already be staring Arteta in the face.