Sven Mislintat delivers his first signing of his tenure in North London. New Arsenal signing Kostas Mavropanos will add defensive solidity to the Gunners, although not right away.
Going into January, most pundits and fans have been focused on the possible departures from the Emirates, not the potential arrivals. With the contracts running down on key players’ deals, names like Ozil, Sanchez and Wilshere have been found in headlines everywhere.
It’s All Greek To Me: Meet New Arsenal Signing Konstantinos Mavropanos
However, the North London outfit has made waves early in the window by bringing in an exciting young defender from Greece. Arsenal signing Kostas Mavropanos only made his first team debut in November 2016, but has already impressed enough to move to one of Europe’s biggest leagues.
Various sources claim the fee is in the neighborhood of $2.5 million (£1.8 million).
Despite the major transfer, most fans had never heard the young man’s name before. So, let’s take a minute to find out more about the Greek U-20 international.
His former club in Greece, PAS Giannina, are famous for their defensive style of play. Reminiscent of a Tony Pulis side, their preferred tactic is to play solid defense and steal goals via the counter-attack.
A first-team regular, Mavropanos plays as one of three center-backs for PAS Giannina. The fact he is used to playing in a back three perhaps bodes well for the future, as Arsene Wenger seems to be pleased with his team’s new-found ability to switch formation on the fly.
Greek journalist Thodoris Vasilis, speaking to Goal.com, says,
“he’s very good in one-on-one duels. He’s not so much technically gifted, but very dynamic and good in the air. He is a similar player to Shkodran Mustafi if you are comparing him with another Arsenal defender.”
The move has been generally well received by Arsenal fans, who are rightly crediting the signing to new Head of Recruitment, Sven Mislintat. The former Borussia Dortmund man had previously scouted the Greece U-20s, going on to sign Agiris Kampetsis to a contract at the Signal Iduna Park.
Despite the need for defensive cover for the first team, Mavropanos is rumored to be on his way out on loan already, with Werder Bremen being considered the most likely destination. Others have claimed he will stay with the club. Either way, the club are certainly in need of reinforcing. Whether he will be an impact player is questionable.