Dinos Mavropanos has joined Stuttgart on a permanent deal after the German side secured their Bundesliga status at the weekend.
On loan at the Mercedes Benz Arena for the last two seasons, Die Roten had a clause in their contract obligating them to buy the defender should they avoid relegation. Following a last-gasp win over Cologne on the final day of the season, they did just that and have wasted no time completing a £4.5 million deal.
The Athletic reported earlier this week that the fee is an upfront £3 million payment plus an additional £1.5 million in bonuses. Given that Mavropanos has become the fulcrum of their defence – he’s made 55 appearances since joining in the summer of 2020 – they are no doubt pleased with their bargain.
Signed for Arsene Wenger by Sven Mislintat in January 2018, Dinos was earmarked as a player for the future at Emirates Stadium but saw his development seriously hampered by injuries.
Durch den Klassenverbleib tritt bei @DMavropanos die vertraglich vereinbarte feste Verpflichtung in Kraft, der bislang vom FC Arsenal ausgeliehene griechische Nationalspieler ist nunmehr bis zum 30.06.2025 vertraglich an den VfB gebunden.#VfB pic.twitter.com/wgjuWy0mPS
— VfB Stuttgart (@VfB) May 19, 2022
A six-month spell at FC Nurnberg in the 2019/20 season saw him rebuild his confidence and after Mislintat left Arsenal to later become Stuttgart’s Director of Football, he made the 6ft 4″ defender a priority signing.
On making the loan deal permanent, Mislintat said: “Dinos brings enormous power and willpower to our game and has also stabilised at a high physical level. He has made a clear commitment to VfB and our path, and we are very much looking forward to continuing to work together.”
Earlier this year, it was reported that West Ham are willing to spend upwards of £20 million on the centre-back and could yet do a deal with Stuttgart in the coming months. If that plays out, it’s not going to be a good look for Edu who must have been cursing the stoppage-time goal that saved Stuttgart’s bacon on Saturday.
Cheers to the eagle-eyed @shsharrington for the heads up.