Everyone seems to have forgotten about our young Greek defender Dino Mavropanos, who made such a good impression when given a chance in the Arsenal first team towards the end of last season. He has been injured since the summer, but it looks like he has finally returned to full fitness, as Emery pointed out the other day when talking about transfer targets. The Spaniard said that he may need: “… some players also at centre back. But now, Dinos Mavropanos is coming back after his injuries and I think I can use him in the next matches.”
Well that next match is here, and I am fully expecting to appear against Man United this evening. It is interesting because he actually made his debut against United last season, and had a very solid game. there was another hint that he could play tonight, as Arsenal.com published an article yesterday of Dino’s memories of that game. “I prepared myself well from the moment the manager announced I was going to play,” Mavropanos said. “This happened on the day of the game before leaving the hotel when he told us the starting XI and I was one of them. Since hearing that, the only thing that was in my mind was to get on the pitch and do what I know best.
“Of course I was a bit anxious and stressed because it was going to be my first game with Arsenal but I coped with it. I was focused on the instructions of my manager and was very happy with my performance. I just looked at the pitch and said, ‘This is what I’ve been dreaming of all these years’. The only thing I wanted to do was enjoy it.
“I can remember the entire game, in fact, even the moments before we arrived there. For me, it was probably the happiest day I’ve had so far in my life. We conceded a goal in injury time and we were very unlucky in that moment but I think we had a good game as a team. Me individually? I think I played well.
“I’m looking forward to coming back on to the pitch [now]. I believe it will be a fresh start, but I will come back stronger and give my best efforts to join the starting XI.”
So it looks like he will be playing tonight, but I seriously hope that Emery doesn’t make too many changes and gift the game to United. But I do believe the Greek youngster will grow to be an important player for the club in the future….