After making his Premier League debut against Manchester United in April 2018, Arsenal’s Konstantinos Mavropanos hasn’t quite progressed as perhaps he might have wanted.
The now 23-year-old currently finds himself on loan at Bundesliga side VfB Stuttgart, and he’s been one of the club’s most impressive performers this season.
His average match rating based on Whoscored is currently 7.04, which ranks him as Stuttgart’s fifth-best player this campaign, and when you look at some of his underlying numbers, it’s easy to see why.
The Greek centre-back averages a monstrous three interceptions and 2.8 tackles per game, both of which are the best in the entire Bundesliga – quite the achievement for someone playing his first season in German football.
Those statistics are also significantly better than what William Saliba has managed in his loan spell at Nice, with the young Frenchman averaging 1.5 interceptions and 0.8 tackles per game in comparison.
Stuttgart manager, Pellegrino Matarazzo, has waxed lyrical about the centre-back, saying: “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.”
Generally being used as a right-sided centre-half in a back-three, or even at right-back, the 6 foot 4 titan is getting a footballing education in the Bundesliga, certainly in terms of getting used to new positions and systems.
Football.London recently said that Arsenal are closely following his progress with the German side, and that his performances are drawing admiring glances from rival clubs and managers.
So while Saliba could be the young centre-back out on loan who Arsenal fans may be excitedly looking at ahead of next season, Mavropanos has shown this season that he must surely be unleashed by Arteta at the start of the next campaign.