Initial signs encouraging as Mavropanos adapts to life at Arsenal

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He may yet to have played for the first-team, but Konstantinos Mavropanos has still made a significant impact since joining Arsenal earlier this month.

It was initially anticipated that the powerful centre-back would be heading out on loan, but, after impressing in training, he was retained and added to Arsenal’s first-team squad.

While he has benefitted from training with the senior squad, Mavropanos’ most notable involvement so far has been at U23 level, where he has featured twice so far against high-profile opponents in Manchester United and Bayern Munich.

Arsenal won both fixtures and Mavropanos emerged from both games with much credit as he demonstrated both his composure in possession and his defensive attributes.

Mavropanos has slotted in on the left side of the back three for the U23s and it immediately became apparent that his passing is one of his strong suits, with the prospect frequently playing inch-perfect balls into the path of his team-mates.

The Greek youngster is also strong aerially and especially relished the physical battle that ensued against Bayern Munich this week as he helped Arsenal to withstand the pressure of difficult opponents.

In addition, there have been a couple of occasions when Mavropanos has demonstrated that he is capable of striking the ball extremely hard, and it surely won’t be too long until he scores his first goal for the Gunners at youth level.

Despite the undoubted quality that he possesses, however, it seems Mavropanos isn’t set for immediate involvement in the first-team setup, despite being on the bench for the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final against Chelsea.

With several centre-backs ahead of him, it appears rather unlikely that Mavropanos will make any competitive appearances for the club this campaign barring an injury crisis.

Next season opportunities should start to open up for him with Per Mertesacker retiring, and Mavropanos will hope to play a major part in Arsenal’s pre-season preparations.

Until he features in a competitive first-team game, it is difficult to say with any surety that Mavropanos will be able to succeed at Arsenal in the long term.

He has certainly made an instant impact for the U23s, however, and will look to continue doing so until the end of the campaign before hopefully becoming increasingly involved with the first-team next season.

Jeorge Bird is the author of www.arsenalyouth.wordpress.com Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird

 

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