Why Nottingham Forest should avoid signing Konstantinos Mavropanos
According to claims from Greek outlet Sportime, as relayed by the Nottinghamshire Live, Nottingham Forest have been linked with a January loan move for out-of-favour Arsenal defender Konstantinos Mavropanos.
The report adds that Mavropanos has also been linked with a move to Greek giants Olympiacos, who share the same owner with Forest in Evangelos Marinakis.
The 22-year-old, who completed a move to Arsenal from PAS Giannina in his homeland back in January 2018, made his Premier League debut for the Gunners against Man United that April but he has found regular minutes hard to come by at the Emirates.
Injuries have made it all the more difficult for Mavropanos to acclimatize to the highly-competitive nature of English game, and Greek U-21 international has spent more time on the treatment table than on the pitch over the course of his two years in North London.
Mavropanos started in the 2-2 draw against Standard Liege on Matchday 6 of the UEFA Europa League but he failed to make a big impression under caretaker boss Freddie Ljungberg, and the writing seems to be on the wall for him in North London after accumulating only 8 first-team appearances so far.
Nottingham Forest, though, are apparently prepared to offer him an escape route to help him resurrect his faltering career, with the Arsenal starlet now linked with a loan move to the City Ground in January.
Meanwhile, the Reds slipped down to 8th in the Championship standings with a 4-0 hammering at the hands of Sheffield Wednesday last week, thanks to a hat-trick from Jordan Rhodes. Forest had been flying high under Sabri Lamouchi following an impressive start to the campaign but a winless run of four games has somewhat thwarted their surge for promotion.
Despite their recent slip-ups, however, the two-time European champions are still only a point adrift of the top-six and a good run of results in the second half of the campaign should be enough to warrant a playoff spot, as the Reds look to end their long absence from the Premier League.
Having roped in over ten new players back in the summer transfer window, Nottingham Forest don’t really need to make wholesale changes to their squad in January. However, bringing in a reliable back-up striker to deputize for Lewis Grabban should be a priority, with Wolves loanee Rafa Mir failing to make an impact and Brennan Johnson only an unproven teenager.
A tally of 27 goals scored in 21 games means that Forest can certainly do with a bit more firepower up top heading into the second half of the campaign, given that Lamouchi’s side have been outscored by some of their playoff rivals.
To that end, though, a defensive record of 21 goals conceded makes for some decent readings on paper and it is therefore very difficult to understand Forest’s links with Konstantinos Mavropanos, who has failed to make any sort of a positive impression over the course of his injury-stricken stint at Arsenal.
Forest are already more than well-stocked in the centre-back department, with academy graduate Joe Worrall forming a formidable pairing with veteran Michael Dawson at the heart of the defence.
Tobias Figueiredo has looked impressive whenever he has been called into action by Lamouchi while summer recruit Chema Rodriguez has struggled for regular minutes due to stiff competition for places at the back.
Alexander Milosevic’s contract was terminated back in October after being frozen out of the first-team picture by Lamouchi but Forest still have some deadwood to remove in their centre-back ranks, with Michael Hefele and Yohan Benalouane yet to kick a ball this season.
Hence, it is really very difficult to understand how and where some like Mavropanos could possibly fit into the manager’s plans at the City Ground, despite the 22-year-old obvious talent and vast potential.
Suffice to say, things are unlikely to get any better for the Greek starlet, in terms of enjoying regular involvement, if he were to move to Forest in January, with so many players already competing for two roles in central defence.
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All in all, Nottingham Forest making a move for Konstantinos Mavropanos in January would simply be a waste of valuable resources that could be better utilized elsewhere.