When Arsenal sold Konstantinos Mavropanos to German Bundesliga outfit VfB Stuttgart last summer, following a sequence of loan spells, the endearing Gunners support barely batted an eyelid, but given his recent exploits following his failed stint in north London, there must be a few rueful gazes cast towards the failure to unlock the potential of the dynamic defender.
Having signed Mavropanos for just £2m from Greek outfit PAS Giannina in 2018, the centre-back only went on to make eight appearances for his former side before being shipped out on loan to FC Nurnberg and Stuttgart, with the latter tying down a permanent deal for the ace last summer, worth about £3.5m.
How is Konstantinos Mavropanos getting on now?
According to CIES Football Observatory, the 6 foot 4 colossus is valued at about £18m right now, and given the likes of West Ham United were interested in pursuing a deal for the player at roughly this fee last year, it is clear that he is blossoming into one of the shrewder options on the market.
Arsenal are currently the Premier League’s table-toppers, and the established central defensive pairing of Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba would take some usurping, but Mavropanos possesses all the acumen to forge a way into manager Mikel Arteta‘s plans, and his sale can only be deemed premature.
While hindsight is a wonderful thing, the Gunners board must be kicking themselves for not offering the stage to Mavropanos for a second shot at the Emirates, given his steady ascension towards prominence over the three years spent out on loan in Germany.
As per FBref, the Greek giant ranks among the top 1% of centre-backs for total shots, 6% for shot-creating actions, 1% for successful take-ons and 2% for interceptions per 90, and this remarkable, spherical scope of his skill set proves that he exemplifies the traits desired for the perfect modern-day defender.
Once praised for his “exuberance” and hailed as “fearless” by Gunners legend Ian Wright, the 25-year-old titan has recorded an exemplary average league rating this term of 7.39, as per Sofascore, and given Stuttgart teeter just two points away from the bottom two of the division, it is an ominous thought to consider where they might be situated had Mavropanos’ loan deal not been made permanent last year.
Having scored two goals and one assist, completing 82% of his passes and averaging 0.5 key passes per match, also demonstrating his defensive aptitude with 3.4 clearances and 2.2 tackles and interceptions per game, the £22k-per-week gem embodies the ball-playing and all-encompassing nature that Arteta demands.
While Arsenal are firing at full-throttle right now, chasing Premier League glory and in the last-16 of the Europa League, the addition of a dynamic centre-back such as Mavropanos could be the perfect solution to battling across multiple fronts, and given his current transfer value – which will ostensibly continue to rise as he forges further laudable displays – Edu made a big blunder on this particular ace.
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