Arsenal’s coaching staff are confident Konstantinos Mavropanos is ready 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 21-year-old was signed on the recommendation of the club’s head of recruitment Sven Mislintat last January.
Arsene Wenger initially planned to send the Greek centre-half out on loan but was so impressed with his performances in training that he opted to keep him in north London.
Mavropanos impressed on his debut in a 2-1 defeat 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 defender has played no part in Arsenal’s season so far due to injury, but according to Goal, Emery, who reportedly flagged up Mavropanos’s potential during his job interview, believes the youngster is capable of making an impact in the coming weeks.
Mavropanos has been pencilled in to take part in an Under-23 game against United on Monday and will then be considered for first team selection, assuming he comes through unscathed.
Arsenal have been in the midst of a defensive injury crisis recently, with Rob Holding out for the rest of the season and the club unwilling to pay a fee to prematurely end Calum Chambers’ loan spell at Fulham.
Club captain Laurent Koscielny has been rushed back into action following a long-term Achilles injury and has struggled to cope with playing two games in a week, while the likes of Nacho Monreal and Stephane Lichtsteiner have been forced to play as emergency central defenders.