Arsenal have experienced a turbulent start to the 2019/20 campaign. The Gunners are currently languishing in ninth-place, seven points off the top four of the Premier League.
Unai Emery has departed. His 18-month tenure ultimately ended in failure and for now, Freddie Ljungberg is the interim boss.
The real problem for the new temporary boss to solve is one that has been prevalent for years.
Until someone can take the Gunners squad by the scruff of the neck and stop them conceding goals, things will get worse before they improve.
David Luiz was added in the summer to try and tighten things up. The serial winner hasn’t had the desired effect and his erratic tendencies remain.
Ljungberg’s answer to the problem at the weekend was to hand Shkodran Mustafi his first league start at Norwich on Sunday. Quite frankly, if the German is the answer, then what is the question?
Ljungberg could endear himself to the club’s disgruntled supporters pretty quickly by dipping into the academy ranks.
Konstantinos Mavropanos has seven appearances for the Gunners to his name but hasn’t featured at all this season.
He signed for Arsenal in January 2018 for £1.9 million (The Guardian) from PAS Giannina.
Having looked a bit raw and inexperienced during his handful of games so far, he has spent the current campaign with the under-23 squad.
He has played seven league games and twice in the EFL Trophy, looking sharp and composed in the process.
Ljungberg has worked with the youth team in recent seasons at the Emirates Stadium. As a result, it will surely be his intention to try and promote within.
If Mavropanos isn’t the next cab off the rank then he shouldn’t be too far behind the front of the queue.
Arsenal haven’t kept a clean sheet since beating Bournemouth 1-0 in October.
Ljungberg must find something that sticks defensively and Mavropanos might be due another opportunity.
The Gunners are typically good when it comes to handing game time to young talent. With Arsenal’s defending nothing short of shambolic at the moment now looks ideal to let the uncompromising Greek defender earn a spot.