Mavropanos linked with Panathinaikos move

dinos mavropanos arsenal

Dinos Mavropanos has been linked with a move to Panathinaikos, but reports from Greece suggest the 21 year old has turned down an approach as he wants to try and break into the Arsenal team this season.

There are also suggestions AEK Athens have their eye on him too, but with the centre-half situation at Arsenal somewhat up in the air right now, it remains to be seen what the club’s plans are for the young defender.

Mavropanos is currently sidelined with yet another occurrence of the hip/groin injury which has troubled him on and off for the last 12 months, and he has yet to play any part in the pre-season games.

Those would have given Unai Emery a chance to assess his readiness for the new season, but instead he’s been undergoing treatment.

The Arsenal boss confirmed yesterday that the club are looking to bring in a central defender before the transfer window closes, and with Laurent Koscielny’s situation a cloud that hangs over the squad, Mavropanos may want to stay put and fight for a place when fit.

Rob Holding won’t be back until after the first international break at the earliest, while neither Calum Chambers or Shkodran Mustafi have done much in pre-season to suggest they’re the right man to anchor the defence alongside Sokratis who is now basically our first choice in that position.

Arsenal remain tight-lipped over the future of Krystian Bielik, another potential central defensive option, but it seems almost certain the 21 year old Pole will depart this summer on a permanent basis – with Charlton said to be interested in signing the player who played his part in their promotion to the Championship last season.

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Leno me, I’ll be your friend

Pretty certain Panathinaikos are looking to loan him, whereas Athens are apparently willing to see him as a ‘permanent leader’ of their back line. He’s not ready for the PL just yet, so let’s loan him out and see how he performs when given regular game time? We’ve still got Holding (eased back in Sept) and Sokratis as starters, with a view to replacing Kos with a player who can go straight into the first 11, Monreal and Chambers can play there too, Bielik can start some of the Europa and other cup games. If we get Tierney then our… Read more »


You suggest playing Sokratis as a starter, but with his chronic ill-discipline on the pitch (even in friendly games if you can believe it) he won’t be a “finisher” anywhere near as often as he should be, will he. Also, what about Mustafi? He’s still (at £35 million – how we were we fooled by Valencia) one of the most expensive central defenders in the EPL and has cost us several £ millions in wages every year since 2016. While the general consensus (rightly/obviously now?) is that he’s useless, we can’t offload him because everyone knows that. Is the only… Read more »

Leno me, I’ll be your friend

The focus, as in tune with the article, was on Mavrapanos’ future, not whether Sokratis has “chronic ill-discipline on the pitch” (I think he’s only been sent off once for us in a competitive match, so saying he’s not a “finisher” is a bit of a drastic reach – also, did you see why he got red carded in the friendly…?) – forgetting the fact that in his first year in the PL he had admirably familiarised himself with the irregularity of playing with Holding, then Kos, Monreal, Mustafi. Sokratis isn’t a world beater, no, but he was damn well… Read more »


I really hope we dont sell him, he’s exactly the type of defender that most teams are looking for in todays football. Big, strong and quick. At his age both Van Dijk and Koulibaly, were somewhat unknown, and could be bought for a fraction of what they are worth now. Imo still plenty of time for him to succeed at this club.


That’s a really good point — and central defenders are commanding transfers fees that first-rate strikers used to command, and more. Arsenal are better off focusing on raising the centrebacks they have (there has to be three worth keeping out of Holding, Chambers, Mavropanos, Medley, and Bielik), and using the transfer market when genuine improvement can be found and afforded.

My Cousin Vinai

Makes no sense to sell him at his age, regardless of his injuries.
Loan I can somewhat understand (though after seeing what happened to Bielik I also understand if he’s reluctant to go on loan as there seems to be an “out of sight, out of mind” planning going on at Arsenal with loanees).


Not really seeing any basis for this guy to get into the first team picture. He’s technically quite limited, he has good physicality and speed but not the experience or reading of the game to use them effectively so he’s often exposed. He’s made something like 5 first team appearances in three years at the club and I think he’s only completed 90 mins in 2-3 of those with at least a red card and a few yellows to his name. It’s a small sample size but you can’t call this anything other than worrying for the development of a… Read more »


He joined us a year and a half ago…

Also, why would we get rid of someone so early on in their career without having given them the chance as they’ve been injured. The argument for other youth prospects is that they’ve been mentored and observed for years and found wanting. In Mavro’s case it has been a bit of unfortunate luck that has left him sidelined for the majority of his Arsenal career.


What’s your point? Even when fit does he have a place in the squad ahead of any other CB? No. That means the only way he’s realistically going to get a chance to earn one is by showing what he can do on loan somewhere. He’s got a lot to prove and his immediate competitors for a place in the squad have all done more and better things than him in the last few years. Holding had a good 5 months before injury and has about a seasons worth of top flight experience, Chambers has 2 full campaigns under his… Read more »


I don’t disagree that he has a mountain to climb. In theory anyone who comes to Arsenal should expect that it will be competitive regardless of their pedigree, it’s what makes a big club. Regardless though, to say that we should sell him without giving him a proper chance when we are in dire need of CBs as well as depth is a bit daft in my opinion. There are many more options e.g. loan him out, make him play the cup games, cover for when we are depleted due to injuries (look at what happened to Holding last season).… Read more »


I didn’t say sell him mate


What a load of fucking bullshit. Do you even bother checking your numbers?


I have seen far too less of him (and I watch nearly EVERY arsenal game) to really be too troubled if he stays or goes…..I know I shall incur the wrath of the ‘Mavro is our future’ contingent of our fan base…so I’d like to ensure you it’s really a very wanting-to-know kind of question rather than a dismiss-him-completely kind of question..but…why?…why is there such a wide trust that Mavro is our future and exactly the kind of player we need?…..he has been so very uninvolved and untested at Arsenal so far hasn’t he?..


My concern is how little we’ve seen him play. I know there have been injuries, but he’s been overlooked when not injured. When he did appear last season he looked woefully out of his depth. Ring rusty and lacking in confidence in a misfiring team or simply not up to scratch? I’m afraid no-one here knows, as we haven’t seen enough of him.


The next vermaelen


Future captain then.

My Cousin Vinai (Formerly Faisal Narrage)

And then off to Barca to win medals.
Not too bad of a career ahead of him, then.

Jason daniels

Noooooo ffs this kis is good


Good based on what?


I know he hasn’t played enough for people to be able to praise his game, but he also hasn’t played enough for his game to be judged so harshly. He is still young, got a couple of serious injuries, but I still think he has the makings of a top class centre back. He has played well enough in his limited and frankly, injury riddled, few games and has still shown his potential. He is good on the ball, not Mertesaker good, but not many defenders are. He is a physical beast and he uses his body very well. He… Read more »


Well said – I was going to waste my time responding to some negative comments above, but this is just right.

My Cousin Vinai (Formerly Faisal Narrage)

Remember that 99% of fans saying we should sell, didn’t see much in Willock last season and probably the dame fans that were abusing Bellerin for years as a trash fullback.
Same fans that after the first 10 games and an unbeaten run, were claiming Mustafi as our CB future answer, and were okay in us selling off Gnabry because he didn’t do much at WBA.

Suffice to say fans aren’t always the best judges on youth potential.


Just send him on loan to League 1 ffs, he’s barely played any senior football at all at the age of 21.


I agree a loan move would be good for him, if we didn’t have issues at the back.


Surely a loan to the Championship or first division would be better?

I think he has a 4 year deal? See how he does with 40+ games, he seems to have all the raw ingredients, don’t see much value in selling him now, or sending him on loan outside the country


A mistake to let Bielik go without at least giving him a chance to prove himself. Many of our younger players lack physicality – which is understandable – but he has that, along with other abilities.

Still time to give him that chance particularly as Kos is clearly leaving.


I agree, but I think that it’s probably too late now regarding Bielik. There’s not that much evidence – so far at least – of the management’s stated intention to retain younger, talented, players and give them a chance. Several have gone, or are on the point of leaving, this Summer. We’ll see what Emery does when the real fun starts in a few weeks though.

santi's thigh grab

At this point all we know is he can’t complete a season without an injury. Send him on loan to make his mistakes elsewhere while he learns his trade and see if he can avoid injuries. Buy another experienced CB for this year.


Now, if we could ditch Mustafi and/or Sokratis, neither of whom are up to the job, we could give the likes of Mavropanos (when fit) and even Chambers a run – and with Holding nearing a comeback. Even Bielik may have a change of mind if the deadwood is removed. Pretty sure that none of those will be worse than the deadly (for us) duo we have currently. Won’t happen as, surprise, surprise, nobody wants either Mustafi or Sokratis – but we can dream, can’t we?


Sokratis was our best CB last year. He’s not going anywhere.

Merlin's Panini

Sokratis was fine. He’s a little over-physical at times but was on the whole very reliable last season. Not sure why you’re not keen on him. Mustafi though… He has all the attributes (in terms of ability) you want from a defender, apart from the personality. He lacks authority, constantly brainfarts and blames everyone else for his mistakes (or mustakes as they should be known). At this stage I am in the anyone but him camp. Unfortunately we appear to be stuck with him for the next two years so even if he isn’t a first choice option, he’ll get… Read more »

A Different George

Mustafi is a better central defender than Chalmers, with all his mistakes. About 80 percent of the time, he is better than anyone except Koscielny. About 10 percent he is ordinary-to-crap. We could live with that. The problem is the other 10 percent, when he is crap-to-disastrous. Given his obvious ability, I have hoped for several years that those disastrous mistakes would be reduced. I don’t really believe that will happen, but I’m afraid the club will have to play him and hope so once again.

Merlin's Panini

Well yes, you would hope Mustafi was at least a better central defender than Judith Chalmers.

A Different George

Sometimes, my insights into football are not matched by my roofreading ability.

A Different George

My brilliant football analysis is apparently not matched by my skill at roofreading.


No skill in that, you just need a ladder and basic literacy.

Public Elneny

“About 80 percent of the time”, this is said regularly about Mustafi but it’s simply not true. His positioning and decision making is all over the place all game and he’s about as bad as it gets with the ball at his feet for a defender these days. He has a high rate for winning tackles/interceptions/headers, sure – because he has no impulse control and goes full blooded after everything. It’s basically sheer chance the number of these high risk duels he loses each game, especially as he has no real outstanding physical attributes or reading of the game that… Read more »

A Different George

With respect, this is just silly. He is usually fine on the ball and often makes progressive passes.

“He has a high for winning tackles/interceptions/headers, sure because he has no impulse control and goes full blooded after everything.” Then why is his RATE of winning tackles/interceptions/headers high? Why does he consistently score high in WhoScored’s ratings? Why did he ever get chosen for Germany?

He makes too many calamitous mistakes. It does not look like this will change. Isn’t that enough?


Its absurd thinking. Mustafi is not the best defender by a trecth but he is better than many imagine him to be. He has concentration issues which means a lapse will happen but for most parts, he is better than many of our other options (including unproven Mavropanos some prefer to over hype and Chambers even) Its no perfect solution bc we really need consistency but we also need the sort of attack minded ability (Mustafi releases the ball from deep better than most of our other defenders) Just last match against Lyon, he was not responsible for the ‘brain… Read more »

Public Elneny

He really isn’t fine on the ball, he’s shaky when we’re passing around the back and often lays on hospital balls to our midfielders and full backs. His ‘progressive passes’ are lumps over the top, usually going straight through to the keeper or out for a throw. Ok he’s actually slightly better than Sokratis on the ball but Sokratis is a half decent defender so I forgive that to an extent. Like I said he has a high rate for interventions (per 90 mins that is, he almost certainly doesn’t have a high success %, although I can’t find stats… Read more »


You lost me at “obvious ability”…


If we didn’t have issues with our defense I would really think a loan move would be a massive benefit for him. There is potential there, but he needs regular game time.


Now, we can just wait for Ornstein to tweet that we are playing a 2-6-2 formation next season.


“while neither Calum Chambers or Shkodran Mustafi have done much in pre-season to suggest they’re the right man to anchor the defence alongside Sokratis”

So wrong. Chambers, much to my surprise, has been excellent in preseason. He’s played his way into the CB rotation for sure, and right now I’d pair him w/Sokratis in a back 4. Whatever it takes to keep Mustafi off the pitch.


Yes I think Chambers starts at Newcastle. But instead of splashing 80 million Euros on Pepe, we could buy both Tierney for 25 million and a quality centre back for around 50 million instead.

Maul Person

Not sure why you’re making the link between Pepe and Tierney in that way. Arsenal offered the £25m wanted by Celtic but in instalments. Celtic want it up front. The Pepe deal (if it is to be believed) allows Arsenal to pay in instalments suggesting that some money remains available. So to suggest getting Pepe somehow stops / stopped Arsenal from getting Tierney is silly.


They are linked. We prob only have about 40m left in kitty after deducting fees for Saliba (7m per this season), Pepe (14m over 5 seasons) and 4m for Cebellos loan off of 40m budget +25m in player sales (assuming) Tierney if 25m would leabe us with 15-20m max. that won’t get you anyone of particularly high quality which means another band aid. Why we commit money to Saliba in beyond me (Don’t believe its under 4m this season that’s not true) There is a slim chance we can make money available for Tierney if we loan a Cback but… Read more »

A Different George

Hard to judge from pre-season. But, against Lyon, Chalmers allowed a free (really, really, free) header for their second goal. Awful defending on that play.

A Different George

Their first goal, sorry.

Group Captain Mandrake

I always knew that Supernintendo Chalmers didn’t have what it took to anchor a defense.

But in all seriousness, I often wonder how seriously we should take preseason football. With all the substitutions, there is not much continuity so it is hard to judge. As a recent example, look at Liverpool this summer. The starting lineup once the season starts probably won’t change that much from last season, but they are shipping goals for fun this summer.

Public Elneny

I’ve said it a few times in the last couple of years, but Chambers has got to be the player most underrated by both Arsenal fans and management that I’ve known. I can’t fathom why the majority want him gone, or even away from the starting xi. He’s young, reliably healthy, composed on the ball, strong in the air, and actually anticipates the game rather than just reacts to already developed situations. He’s rated highly by fans of both clubs he had premier league loan spells at, and was by far the best of a bad bunch of CBs during… Read more »


I’m all for giving Chambers a fair shot at CB. Would love nothing more than for Holding and Chambers to form an effective partnership.


Well said. When we first bought him he was being touted as the future Arsenal captain AND England captain. Then Wenger got in the way of him and we’ve been squandering his talent ever since. The guy is good and deserves a real go this season.

Micky Tayrian

He’s too injury prone. Take the money i say

The Blerch

I want to see a new CB but if we’re prioritising Tierney, what about moving Monreal to centre back along with Sokratis, Chambers & Holding (when he’s ready)?

Herman Rabe

What happened to the Everton Soares deal


If we’re for Pepe I don’t think we will pursuing him.

Onwe Destiny

Arsenal should give their young players chance like Mavropanos and Bielik. These two guys are promising defenders. They should not be allowed to leave the club


I’d try and move him to Ajax.

…they just sold De Ligt. Or maybe LilleOSC. Also maybe RB Liepzig (consider one of their young French Cbacks)

We should try and also build a bit of relations with potential allies.


did all you dissenters see him in a cluster of games i missed? Seems like the lad needs a decent run of games for judgment to be passed at this point.


A traffic cone could break into this first team as a centre back….


No idea how good he might be, but, even taking the injuries into account, he’s looked horrible for the most part and his types of errors are more than fundamental.


Maybe I’m being a little harsh but he’s not done much to impress me. He had what, one good game for us?

I feel like everyone was wishing he’d be the answer to all our defensive issues but he’s just not there yet and I’m not convinced he ever will be.

Not entirely writing him off, just concerned about the level of hype around an almost entirely unproven player who has been a sicknote for the last season or so – not what you want from a CB.