Unai Emery masterminded to solve injury crisis

Arsenal’s coaching staff are convinced Konstantinos Mavropanos is set to stake a claim for a regular place in the first team as he enters the final stages of his recovery from a groin injury.

The defender was signed on the recommendation of Sven Mislintat last January, and Arsene Wenger planned to send the Greek out on loan but was so impressed with his displays in training that he decided to keep him.

Konstantinos Mavropanos impressed on his debut in a 2-1 loss at Old Trafford against Manchester United but made only two further appearances before he was sent off for a professional foul against Leicester City.

The former Ioannina man has played no part in the Gunners’ season so far due to injury, but Unai Emery, who flagged up the Greek’s potential during his job interview, thinks the youngster is capable of making an impact in the coming weeks.

The 21-year-old has been pencilled in to take part in an Under-23 game against Manchester United and will then be considered for first-team selection, assuming he comes through unscathed.

North London giants have been in the midst of a defensive injury crisis recently, with Rob Holding out for the rest of the campaign and the club unwilling to pay a fee to end Calum Chambers’ loan spell at Fulham prematurely.