With 20-year-old Konstantinos Mavropanos back in training since the start of November, coupled with Shkodran Mustafi’s ever inconsistent form, Arsenal fans wouldn’t be against seeing the Greek defender replace the German international.
Well, The Sun have reported that both Mavropanos and Laurent Koscielny will be back involved in first-team action towards the end of the month, signalling a big boost from a defensive point of view for Unai Emery.
Mustafi has started all 12 of the Gunners’ Premier League games this season, in which they have conceded 15 goal. Whilst that record isn’t too bad, the former Everton man’s erratic defending, however, has cost his side some valuable points.
Brainlessly, the 26-year-old flew into the tackle on Cheikhou Kouyate against Crystal Palace, conceding a penalty which helped the Eagles to an unlikely point.
It is not the first time that Mustafi has had a moment of madness, and whilst he appears in control most of the time, it is these moments that are making his team lose ground in the title race.
Whilst the 6′ 3″ centre-back is very young and very inexperienced, he has impressed when called upon in his short career at the Emirates.
He was drafted in by Arsene Wenger to make three starts towards the end of last season, where he impressed hugely on his debut at Old Trafford. A comfortable 5-0 win against Burnley followed, although he received a red card on his last start for the club against Leicester.
However, the potential is there for all to see. Emery seems keen to give youth a chance as he has done with Matteo Guendouzi so far this season, and for as long as Mustafi’s ineptitude continues, Mavropanos can stake a claim for a long awaited start with his performances in training.