Arsenal currently have seven players out on loan this season, four of which made the temporary move away in the recent January transfer window. Of those plying their trade elsewhere, one particular star has caught the eye.
A forgotten man in north London is Konstantinos Mavropanos, who after being jumped up to the first team following his arrival from PAS Giannina in January 2018 made only seven Premier League outings for Arsenal. Originally destined for the youth sides with a view to long-term senior integration, two years later the defender joined Nürnberg on loan for the remainder of the 2019/20 season.
The following summer he returned to for a full season Germany after penning a new long-term contract with the Gunners, this time with VfB Stuttgart, where he has played in his favoured centre-back role, helping push the newly-promoted side into the top ten.
Much of Mavropanos’ campaign has been curtailed by injury, limiting him to just seven starts, although he’s drawn attention with some commanding displays. After having surgery on a meniscus problem he’s battled his way back into contention.
Konstantinos Mavropanos performances open door for potential long-term Arsenal future
As per football.london‘s Chris Wheatley, his performances haven’t gone unnoticed by Mikel Arteta, who has been keeping tabs – as you’d expect for a loan player – and will have the chance to impress in pre-season when his loan ends.
"“Arsenal are keeping tabs on the progress of Mavropanos at Stuttgart. He had surgery on a meniscus a couple of months ago but he’s back now and looks promising,” the report said.“He should get a chance to impress the manager when he returns for pre-season training in the summer.”"
Fans have only been dealt a smattering of opportunities to get a look at the Greek defender plucked from obscurity, perhaps most likely remembering his red card on the penultimate game of the 2017/18 season. However, just before that he put in a notably decent showing in a 2-1 away defeat at Manchester United.
Under the watchful eye of Sven Mislintat, Stuttgart’s sporting director, he’s battled his way back to becoming at least worthy of another look.
Even if Arsenal decide to sell, tying him down to a long-term contract ensured his value was protected. He may never make it at the club, but the contingency plan if not will at least warrant a profit on his initial £1.9m signing.