With defensive issues to the fore, Arsenal have been boosted by the return to training of Dinos Mavropanos.
The Greek central defender has been sidelined since the summer with a groin problem that has taken longer than expected to clear up, but was involved with the senior squad today as they prepared for the trip to Anfield tomorrow evening.
Obviously he’s still some way from playing again, and will need some U23 games to build up his match fitness, but with Rob Holding out for the rest of the season thanks to a cruciate knee injury he will add some depth to the defensive ranks.
The 20 year old, unearthed by Sven Mislintat’s diamond eye, signed last January from PAS Giannina and was expected to immediately go out on loan. However, he impressed Arsene Wenger sufficiently, and played three games towards the end of the season.
He was good in two, but sent off early in one as his inexperience at this level was exposed, and in truth there’s a lot more hope than expectation around him at this point. He’s still very young for a centre-half, and he’s unlikely to come in and have a significant impact at this point in his career.
That doesn’t mean he couldn’t be a useful option this season and still be one for the future, but many will still be hoping that the club invest in the kind of defender that can improve things straight away when the January transfer window opens.