Konstantinos Mavropanos has joined Bundesliga II side Nurnberg on loan, Arsenal have confirmed.
The defender started his football journey with Apollon Smyrnis, but he only played for their youth sides before moving to PAS Giannina in January 2016. The Gunners signed him two years later for a fee of around £2 million, as a prospect for the future. However, injuries have severely hampered his progress in North London and in the two years that have passed since, he has only made eight first-team appearances in all competitions – seven in the Premier League and one in the Europa League. The 22-year-old Greek has suffered groin injuries on three different occasions, the last time being for the first two months of this season.
At the moment, it’s fair to say that his presence can do very little to help Arsenal’s ailing defence, in which he would remain behind David Luiz, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Rob Holding, Calum Chambers (though Chambers has been ruled out for the season), and possibly even Shkodran Mustafi, should the German remain at the club for the second half of the season. Apart from those names, the club have reportedly expressed a strong interest in Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng, and adding a player of his experience, though potentially good for improving the team’s fortunes rather quickly, would push Mavropanos even further down the pecking order.
It’s quite obvious the young centre-back needs regular game-time to be able to develop properly, and the move therefore makes perfect sense. The loan is agreed to last for the rest of the 2019/20 season, at the end of which Mavropanos will return to the club and his situation be reassessed.
Meanwhile, Arsenal have reportedly got competition now for Boateng’s services. Having already acquired Simon Kjaer on loan from Sevilla, AC Milan reportedly want another central defender and they are looking at the former Germany international.