Arsene Wenger has ruled out a January loan move for Konstantinos Mavropanos after the defender impressed the manager during training leading up to Arsenal's 0-0 draw in Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Chelsea on Wednesday (10 January).
The Greece Under-21 international joined the Gunners for a reported fee of £2.2m ($2.9m) from Greek Super League side PAS Giannina on 4 January and was expected to be loaned out for the remainder of the campaign. Wenger confirmed the same following the defender's capture suggesting that he is not yet ready to play for the first-team in the Premier League.
"Yes, but he's not ready to play. He will go out on loan," Wenger said in his press conference after the 2-2 draw against Chelsea on 3 January.
Mavropanos has been training with the first-team since his arrival and has impressed onlookers. He was expected to join German club Werder Bremen for the remainder of the campaign but will now remain with Arsenal until the end of the season.
Moreover, Wenger is faced with a major injury crisis going into the second-half of the campaign with Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal, Sead Kolasinac, Aaron Ramsey, Olivier Giroud, Jack Wilshere and Mesut Ozil all sidelined for the moment.
Wenger was forced to play Per Mertesacker and Mathieu Debuchy for Arsenal's FA Cup loss against Nottingham Forest on Sunday (7 January), but Mavropanos, who was named on the bench for Wednesday's Carabao Cup game against the Blues, could find himself thrust into the deep end sooner rather than later after impressing in his first few training sessions with the rest of the squad.
"I personally want to keep him until May, to know him better, to assess his level. The first signs he has shown in training are so encouraging that I decided to keep him until May," Wenger said after Arsenal draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, as quoted on Arsenal's official site.
Arsenal, meanwhile, will complete their second business of the January transfer window after Wenger confirmed Francis Coquelin's imminent departure to Valencia. The French midfielder was keen to move after falling out of favour and is expected to join the La Liga outfit for a fee in the region of £12m.