Arsenal U23s suffered their first defeat of the season last night as they were beaten 3-1 by Chelsea, and it was the performance of the Gunners’ most experienced player which was one of the main causes for concern.
Konstantinos Mavropanos has been a regular in the U23 side in recent weeks having been unable to force his way back into the first-team picture following his return from injury.
The centre-back started well enough against Chelsea as he demonstrated that his impressive passing range is still very much intact.
However, Mavropanos was caught out on a couple of occasions, with his positioning being called into question, and his partnership with Harry Clarke, who also struggled, left much to be desired.
It is clear that Mavropanos is still talented but at present he doesn’t appear ready to make a major impact in the Arsenal first-team.
In any case it seems unlikely that he will be afforded such a chance in the near future, with a host of senior options ahead of him at the heart of the defence.
Mavropanos will be 22 in December and he has played more games for Arsenal’s U23 side than he has done for the first-team, albeit with injuries having not helped his cause.
January seems like the perfect time to send Mavropanos on loan, with the Greek youngster in need of regular football at a high level.
If Mavropanos did depart on a temporary basis then it would benefit some of Arsenal’s other youngsters too, with the likes of Joseph Olowu and Zech Medley having seen their game time restricted of late due to the presence of Mavropanos in the U23 squad.