Mavropanos linked with Panathinaikos move

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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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Mr.Montenegro
Mr.Montenegro

No!

Leno me, I’ll be your friend
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 CBs will be far more secure. August may be tough but by Sept we’ll have Bellerin, Holding and possibly Tierney all fit, Dino will struggle to break through.
So long as we do get another good option at CB to replace Kos then it makes great sense to loan out Mavrapanos.

Goonereality
Goonereality

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 option to make him the best paid, but non-playing, player in the EPL? I’d like to see Bielik given a chance as you suggest, but I think it’s probably too late and his ship has sailed – or will do shortly.

Leno me, I’ll be your friend
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 important last season and to overlook his contribution is rather insulting considering the amount of protection he lacked. There’s every chance that without him things could have been far worse.
And regarding Bielik there’s been no official word, and nothing that clearly hints at a permanent move away.

Regardless, it’s not my suggestion, it’s well regarded that even if we buy another CB Sokratis will still make the first 11, if this is something you don’t like then I suggest either waiting till Holding is fit or talking to someone who can do something about it ✌🏼

Assshavin
Assshavin

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.

Futsboller
Futsboller

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).

goonero
goonero

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 young player. If we’re considering playing time and reputation that puts him behind Bielik in line with Medley on the CB totem pole. More than anything he needs to go somewhere and stay fit and actually play some football.

GoonerMelb
GoonerMelb

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.

goonero
goonero

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 belt and a POTS award for one of them, Saliba is going into his second campaign of first team football with St.Ettienne, Bielik has had a massively impressive year and is turning heads all over Europe, even Medley is looking like he has what it takes to make the grade, and then there’s Mavropanos who has done nothing to stake a claim for a place in this Arsenal side. These are just facts.

AussieGooner
AussieGooner

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). Furthermore, with Koscielny on the brink of leaving the last thing we should be doing is selling more CBs. Saliba is coming next season – not this season – so he won’t have an immediate impact until then.

Mavro should be allowed to at least stake his claim until then which would bring his tenure to two and a half years at the club which gives the coaches more time to ascertain whether he is worthy of wearing the badge.

goonero
goonero

I didn’t say sell him mate

Fabulous
Fabulous

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

abhimanyu1989
abhimanyu1989

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?..

Mike1
Mike1

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.

ach
ach

The next vermaelen

myrtle
myrtle

Future captain then.

My Cousin Vinai (Formerly Faisal Narrage)
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
Jason daniels

Noooooo ffs this kis is good

onenil
onenil

Good based on what?

Devlin
Devlin

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 has played 2 or 3 games under a manager (Wenger) who wants intercepting defenders and 2 or 3 games under a manager (Emery) who wants tackling defenders, and that’s in the space of 2 years.

He has talent, he has physical gifts that many dream of and he was spotted by diamond eye himself. If that isn’t enough to lay off the young man, then maybe Arsene’s judgement of an 18 year old Dinos must have some merit right?

I have Faith that he will come good. He needs time, the same as Koscielny got at the beginning of his Arsenal career.

Futsboller
Futsboller

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)
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.

WengersNoseHair
WengersNoseHair

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

CoNr
CoNr

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

Rich
Rich

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

Rob67
Rob67

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.

Goonereality
Goonereality

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
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.

Goonereality
Goonereality

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?

lessthanthesumoftheirparts
lessthanthesumoftheirparts

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

Merlin's Panini
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 plenty of game time.
Given Holding is coming back from a big injury, Sokratis is into his 30s and likely to start picking up more injuries, Chambers fitness record hasn’t always been so hot, Mavropanos is out of his depth, regularly injured and in need of a stabilising loan move and Koscielny is likely to be gone by the end of the summer, I’m sure we’ll see a lot of Mustafi.

A Different George
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
Merlin's Panini

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

A Different George
A Different George

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

A Different George
A Different George

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

TeeCee
TeeCee

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

Public Elneny
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 actually help him compete for them.

And when we’re next trying to soak up pressure in our two banks of whatever, just focus on him individually – absolutely lost, unaware of runners and out of step with the rest of the defence. I know it’s not nice to pick on Arsenal player, and he should be supported by fans at the ground, but it’s best just to be honest and call a hopeless footballer a hopeless footballer.

A Different George
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?

Santori
Santori

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 fart’ that contributed to the first goal against us.

Sokratis and Chambers lost Dembele even when we had 4 in the box to their one striker.

So concentration issue is not just a Mustafi thing.

Nor was he alone not being able to track Dembele for the second, Sokratis being also if not more culpable.

Mustafi’s game went to pots against Palace second half when Emery switched to a back 3.

BUT subsequent games with him taken out, we fared no better. In fact the very next game with the highly esteemed pairing of koscielny and Sokratis, we leaked 3 goals. NOT one but 3.

Conveniently some people shift blame at Granit or Ozil instead.

BUT again in finals against Chelsea, we shipped 4 goals.

not saying he was solely responsible bc it would be ridiculous but Torreira contributed to the fourth goal as he id for 4 goals over Xmas.

Its a question of where you want to look for fault.

People are so invested at looking at fault in Mustafi that they find more than they see in others who also have faults so conveniently ignored or explained away.

This is the problem with most people, they are looking for the issues without seeing the problem in other players or systemic problems or overall problems.

Which is why it is stupid bothering on dangerous to keep blaming Mustafi.

Public Elneny
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 for this) because he goes after everything, into positions he has no business being in, putting other players in difficult situations.

If you actually pay any notice to whoscored ratings, especially for defenders and goalkeepers, then I don’t know how to argue against you. And well he hasn’t been selected for Germany for 2 years, despite being consistently available, so you can’t have that one either.

Maybe there was a talented defender in there a few years back, but the wretched state of his confidence affects all areas of his game. The calamitous mistakes are now a symptom of the all round deficiencies in his game – it’s simply down to chance how many times these are exploited per game – they are not just isolated aberrations or brainfart moments.

Mintoes
Mintoes

You lost me at “obvious ability”…

CoNr
CoNr

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.

A P
A P

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

GoonerMcGoonFace
GoonerMcGoonFace

“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.

Richie

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
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.

Santori
Santori

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 that’s about it.

A Different George
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
A Different George

Their first goal, sorry.

Group Captain Mandrake
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
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 the only time he’s been given a proper run at centre back here toward the end of the 17/18 season. And he should be sold to generate what, £15 million, when our other options are so poor?!

He seems to be rated based on his full/wing back performances, and the performances of his loan clubs, but that is deeply unfair.

George
George

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.

Mintoes
Mintoes

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
Micky Tayrian

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

The Blerch
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
Herman Rabe

What happened to the Everton Soares deal

Seb
Seb

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

Onwe Destiny
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

Santori
Santori

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.

BPM
BPM

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.

Chrispy
Chrispy

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

George
George

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.

Dave
Dave

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.