West Ham have completed their third major signing of the summer with the capture of £19m defender Konstantinos Mavropanos from Bundesliga side Stuttgart, but how might the Irons line up with their new centre-half?
Mavropanos earned a reputation for hard tackles and robust challenges during his time in Germany with Stuttgart and the 25-year-old – who has penned a five-year deal with the Hammers – completed more interceptions than any other player in the German top tier in 2022/24.
The Greek international had an unsuccessful spell with Arsenal earlier in his career, though he returns to England as a more mature, rounded footballer and he will expect to shine in the Premier League at the second attempt.
Where will Mavropanos fit in at West Ham?
West Ham already have several options to choose from at centre-half with Kurt Zouma, Nayef Aguerd, Angelo Ogbonna and Thilo Kehrer all capable of putting in a shift there, so Konstantinos Mavropanos will have to work hard to push his way into contention at the London Stadium.
Hammers boss David Moyes has deployed his team with a flat back four in the club’s opening two Premier League fixtures of the new campaign, pairing Kurt Zouma with Nayef Aguerd on each occasion against Bournemouth and Chelsea respectively.
Frenchman Kurt Zouma was chosen as West Ham’s new captain this summer following the departure of previous skipper Declan Rice to Arsenal in a move that suggests the 28-year-old ranks number one in the pecking order of centre halves at the club.
That would also indicate that Nayef Aguerd’s position in the team is the most under threat following the arrival of Konstantinos Mavropanos and the Moroccan’s sending off against Chelsea last weekend would have done little to strengthen his case to stay in the XI.
David Moyes’ very public pursuit of Manchester United’s Harry Maguire also hinted that the Scottish coach was in the market for a new starting central defender and his fall-back option, Mavropanos, could be that player.
What qualities will Mavropanos bring to the team?
As we touched on above, Konstantinos Mavropanos was unmatched in the Bundesliga last season for interceptions made, though some of his other metrics from 2022/23 help to round out the prolife of defender West Ham supporters should expect to see.
Mavropanos, who is currently nursing a minor back problem, had plenty of defending to do when playing for relegation-threatened Stuttgart last term and the 25-year-old averaged a meaty 1.8 tackles and 0.9 fouls per 90 in the Bundesliga.
It’s clear then, that the hard hitter likes to defend on the front foot and his aggressive streak should allow him to compete well in the more-physical Premier League setting.
Interestingly, Mavropanos also collected a notable seven yellows and one red card last season, figures that scrape at a possible reckless streak that David Moyes will hope that his new recruit will curtail once he gets up to speed.
Mavropanos was a fan favourite at Stuttgart thanks to his committed approach and bravery, and the 19-times capped international also chipped in with two goals last season – a tally that will enthuse David Moyes, who likes his defenders to offer a threat from dead balls situations.