Arsenal formally announced their first signing of the January transfer window and, as we should really come to expect, it was a low-key ‘one for the future’ that was snapped in an Arsenal shirt.
So who have we got? A Konstant Maverick Piano-man by the sound of it, from PAS Gianna, which proves that not only can Arsenal sign random players from abroad that nobody has heard of, but they can also do it from clubs few have heard of either.
Cue the Internet being awash with people scrambling to get the ‘low down’ on the new signing and space taken up everywhere to try to understand his style.
Forgive me for sounding a little flippant but I’ll not take too much of your time to describe our new Piano-man – real name Mavropanos – because my knowledge is extremely limited of the Greek game and all I’d be doing is rehashing information from other people on the web.
This is an archetypal Arsenal January signing and should be seen as nothing more than Sven’s first foray into the scouting space for us. I’m assuming he’s had an input because I’m sure I read somewhere that he was at the under-20 World Cup last summer and recommended a player or two from the Greek team to Dortmund, so us snapping up this kid seems very much like him flexing his scouting muscles.
Last January we signed Cohen Bramall and he’s on loan at the moment to Birmingham having barely played all season. So I don’t think I’ll consider our defensive woes rectified just yet, especially as Wenger has admitted Mavropanos will now go out on loan.
If I was to hazard a guess I’d say that if he’s a special talent then we might seen him a bit in the Emirates Cup, but if he’s a first team regular any time before the end of Arsène’s contract I’d be stunned.
Will we bring anyone else in? I’ll be honest with you, I don’t know whether or not it’s the lack of names linked, or that I’ve seen too many transfer windows come and go without Arsenal doing what’s needed to compete for the league, but in just a bit weary about transfers these days. Frankly I just don’t really care that much.
The lack of success of recent big money signings – Xhaka, Mustafi, etc – might have had an impact I suppose, but when I hear about these kind of deals I wonder whether they’ve been bought to play in a specific system or if they’re just a technically gifted player who Arsenal is going to try to crowbar into the first XI.
Sign a world class centre back and I’ll be wondering how long it is before that person starts to be ‘Arsenaled’ by the lack of structure and attention paid to setting up the back line.
Sign a world class midfielder and I’ll wonder if he’ll just be another Xhaka who is a good player but played in the wrong system.
Sign a world class attacker and I’ll wonder if they’ll actually improve under us and if they do, how long it’ll be before they start to look at running down their deal, so there’s no point in getting emotionally invested.
All of this contrives to bring me to thinking that transfers are an irrelevance because it’s like a shot of adrenaline (“yay! Something shiny and new!”) before it wears off and we’re left talking about the same problems at the club.
Good luck to Mavropanos though. If Arsenal have found another Holding that they can look as a future star and who can show that he has something about him, that can only be good for us, because with our ageing centre halves becoming more injury prone or retiring, fresh new blood needs to come through. I just hope they’re coached properly by the time they break through into the first team.
A loan move in the UK has to surely be the next best step for the Greek player so let’s hope Arsenal find him the right club to continue his footballing education.
Catch you all tomorrow.