Arsenal’s former head of recruitment Sven Mislintat spoke to The Athletic today about Konstantinos Mavropanos’ progression out on loan.
The Greek defender, signed by Arsene Wenger back in January 2018, hasn’t had the opportunities he would’ve liked. He joined FC Nuremberg on loan in the second half of last season and played a massive part in helping them survive relegation.
He returned to Arsenal, extended his contract and went out on loan again – this time, to Mislintat’s Stuttgart.
Mavropanos has had his fair share of injuries there but when he has featured, he has been a monster. He has been one of the best defenders in Germany this season, and Mislintat believes that his speed is up there with Dayot Upamecano.
He said: “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. If he can stabilise physically, he’s undoubtedly a Bundesliga-level defender. 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. We’re super happy that he’s been a regular starter in recent weeks. We would like to keep him on loan one more season, if possible. But that will be down to Arsenal.”
Arsenal should give Mavropanos a chance next season
Dinos, as he likes to be called, has done enough to warrant a place in Arsenal’s squad. The Gunners will likely be without David Luiz next season, and a spot could open up for Mavropanos.
The Greek defender, 23, is a physical specimen. He has it all – he is good with the ball at his feet, can initiate attacks, is a monster in duels and as Mislintat claimed, he is extremely quick for a central defender as well.
Mikel Arteta recently revealed that he is keeping a close eye on all of his players who are out on loan. Mavropanos certainly fits into Arsenal’s current system and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to keep him around next season.