Arsenal defender Dinos Mavropanos will stay at Stuttgart if he’s not a part of Mikel Arteta’s plans going into next season.
The 23-year-old defender has starred in the Bundesliga this season after spending his second season on loan in Germany.
He had previously survived relegation from the 2. Bundesliga with Nuremberg on the final day of the season.
football.london takes a look at why it would make sense to bring Mavropanos next season and save the Gunners millions that they would otherwise have to spend in the transfer market.
What’s been said?
Stuttgart manager Pellegrino Matarazzo: “He’s our gladiator! He’s a monster in terms of physique. And when he makes a mistake, he hums around some Greek swear words. I like that. He’s just a tough dog.”
Stuttgart sporting director Sven Mislintat: “He (Mavropanos) says very clearly – if he doesn’t play a role in Arsenal’s planning, he wants to stay with us.”
Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: “In training he has shown top quality but then you always have a question mark as long as you don’t see that under pressure in a big game,” said then-manager Arsene Wenger.
“Until that, you don’t know. The big players do better in the competition than in training.
“They make a career, the others – we have many players at our level who do less well in competition than in training.
“That was the question mark and I think he did well. He surprised everybody by his quality today.”
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta: “We’re having meetings very often to assess what they’re [William Saliba and Mavropanos] are doing and obviously we’re getting all the information and watching their games because I want to keep a very close eye on what they’re doing.
“We were talking yesterday for example with Ben Knapper, who is our loan manager, who is in charge of monitoring everything we are doing, and we are in contact with the players. Let’s see.
“It’s good news that they are playing and it’s good news that they have the possibility to have a lot of minutes, because that’s going to give us a much better perception of where they are and how we can use them.”
How good has he been?
Mavropanos has played 1675 minutes in the Bundesliga this season, managing a 82.4% per cent pass accuracy, whilst he has also won 71 per cent of his aerial duels. He also has one assist.
Similarly, he averages around 75 per cent successful defensive actions per match, which emphasises how reliable he has been at the back for Stuttgart.
He is a two-footed centre back who is earned rave reviews for his reading of the game, ability to lead from the back and level-headedness both on and off the pitch.
What will happen in the future?
This is the key question that will be answered in the coming months.
Mikel Arteta has kept abreast of both Mavropanos and William Saliba’s performances on loan via regular communication with Arsenal loans manager Ben Knapper.
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It’s understood that as things stand Saliba will return for pre-season, as the Gunners looks to find a solution with Stuttgart over a loan extension or a permanent deal.