Player Summary: Konstantinos Mavropanos

FEB 16, 2018

During the January transfer window and amidst the hefty signings of Mkhitaryan & Aubameyang, Arsene Wenger clinched a move for relatively uknown Greek talented central defender Konstantinos Mavropanos. The 20 year old towering youngster had been enjoying an excellent season with PAS Giannina in the Greek Superleague with a total of 16 appearances and 1359 minutes in all competitions, getting in the scoresheet 3 times.

It was no secret that a number of clubs had their sights on the youngster with Werder Bremen scouts following Mavropanos for at least five matches since September according to press reports. It was Udinese who first made a move for him offering € 1.2m for his signature but it didn’t take long for Werder Bremen to submit an improved offer of € 1.5m. Greek champions Olympiakos Piraeus had reportedly also shown interest but never made a formal bid for him. In the end it was Arsenal who was forced to finalize a € 2.5m deal due to advanced interest from Udinese, signing him on a five-and-a-half-year contract.

Diving a bit deeper in his defensive behavior it is difficult not noticing his 1vs1 efficiency ratings along with his high interceptions productivity & his tendency for counterattack interceptions.

Standing out for his athleticism and eye-catching aerial ability, Mavropanos is more than your typical central defender. He is smart, with quick reactions and the innate tendency to try and get first to the ball.

His technique needs improvement but despite his 1.94 stature, a combination of balance, mobility and awareness allow him to be quite comfortable and composed with the ball on his feet with excellent Football IQ Index ratings at Possession Losses Overall (92.6), Own Half Possession Losses (91.87) & Dangerous Own Half Possession Losses (100).s He might not dribble much and not getting involved in offensive duels very often, but when he does his efficiency is high.

I haven’t always been a central defender. I’ve played as a striker and a winger at a younger age.

At the same time, fully exploiting his physique & explosiveness he shows a natural goalscoring instinct being a a real threat for opposition defenses at set piece situations, with striker’s like 27.5 % Head Goals Conversion rate. ​

In 16 appearances with PAS Giannina in the first half of the season Mavropanos mostly passed vertically with good success rates, however his Long ball Efficiency ratings are relatively poor compared to his Long Ball Tendency. That might not be so significant for Arsene Wenger though, compared to his high Short-Medium Passes Efficiency levels paired with an excellent Smart Passes Efficiency rating, making him an excellent candidate for a team applying a short-passing style.

It is fair to suggest that Mavropanos’ Long Passes Involvement levels will be dropping significantly in the near future, whilst his Short-Medium & Smart Passes Involvement & Tendency levels are expected to be on the rise once he becomes accustomed to his new team’s style of play. ​

I use to refer to the capacity and the football package of each player. In order for these two characteristics to be developed the individual needs to be focused and concentrated. That’s the starting point.
Mavropanos has the necessary physical attributes and the mindset to work on a daily basis and evolve. Konstantinos possesses the football-package as well as the mental capacity and this combination gave him the chance to play at this level. He needs to improve his technique and tactical behavior, but these are things that can be developed if he continues to work on a daily basis. It’s all up to him.
-Giannis Petrakis, Head Coach PAS Giannina

It’s interesting how Mavropanos’ capture by Arsenal is totally backed by the numbers and that would be no real surprise, considering how seriously they are about analytics. In this case however, it was a personal choice of Sven Mislintat who had been following the player from his time at Dortmund.

The fact is, Arsenal have signed the best young central defender of the Greek Superleague and, according to Football IQ Index Ratings, one of the best young central defenders of 2017.

One of the challenges to replicating the same level of performance in the Premier League will most probably be to familiarize with the high tempo football is being played there, compared to the slow tempo of most Greek Superleague matches. Moreover he has to adopt to the offensive minded style of play of his new team, whose defensive line roams high up and spaces for defenders to cover are wide.

According to reports he’s been very positive so far with Arsenal U23s and the fact that Wenger has included him in the Europa League squad registration tells a lot. ​​It’s definitely up to him to live up to the expectations and continue developing.

Football IQ
Konstantinos Mavropanos: A true football story
How Arsenal and Arsene Wenger bought into analytics
Mavropanos impresses in debut Arsenal U23 appearance
Sven Mislintat told us Mavropanos would be his first Arsenal signing’
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