Konstantinos Mavropanos left his native Greece and joined Arsenal shortly after turning 20, making just eight appearances before leaving North London after two years. He would impress in a short-term loan at German second-tier side Nürnberg, before heading out on loan again in the summer of 2020, this time to Stuttgart. He quickly became a regular at Die Schwaben, who would finish ninth before narrowly avoiding relegation in back-to-back years, making 89 appearances for the Bundesliga side.
At 25, he returns to London, joining Europa Conference League winners West Ham for €25 million and signing a five-year contract, yet another summer signing for the Hammers alongside Edson Alvarez, Mohammed Kudus, and James Ward-Prowse. But just what can West Ham fans expect from the Greek defender?
Mavropanos is the definition of a modern center-back, boasting a strong ability to progress the ball forward through either passing or dribbling. At Stuttgart, Mavropanos would often receive the ball and due to the opposition not closing him down, he would look to drive forwards until the defense collapsed on him. When this occurs, Mavropanos looks to find a quick pass to a teammate and exploit the collapsed defense.
He is also an attacking threat of set pieces and according to FBRef, he averages .09 goals per 90, placing him in the 87th percentile in comparison to all other center backs. On the other end of the pitch, Mavropanos is also willing to win headers in the box and sacrifice his body to make goal-line clearances, yet another reason why he is set to become the first-ever Greek player to play for West Ham.
Mavropanos stands at 1,94 m and is extremely well built and uses his physical stature to overpower smaller opponents. This will be perfect for the Premier League and will work [perfectly for David Moyes who prefers larger center backs who are aggressive. He led the Bundesliga in interceptions last season, showing his ability to cut off the pass and look to transition to attack quickly.
West Ham have enjoyed a sensational start to the campaign, drawing to Bournemouth before beating Chelsea, Brighton and Luton Town, and they sit level on 10 points with Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool as well as two behind Manchester City. Whilst he faces tough competition from Kurt Zouma, Nayef Aguerd and Angelo Ogbonna, Mavropanos will have ample opportunities to impress David Moyes as the Hammers prepare to challenge in all competitions, and he could enable them to switch to a back three when needed.
His physical presence will also be something West Ham love and will provide supporters with a solid defender their team can get behind. Mavropanos is also extremely rapid for someone of his size and will definitely help the Hammers who often lack out-and-out pace at the central defender position, and who have often found themselves lacking in depth at the back due to Aguerd’s injuries.
Five years after making his Premier League debut under Arsene Wenger, Konstantinos Mavropanos looks set to challenge for a starting spot in the English top-flight for a West Ham side that are headed on an upward trajectory under Moyes.
By: Jackson Maynard / @JacksonMaynar17
Featured Image: West Ham United / Getty Images