Konstantinos Mavropanos provided an early indication that Arsene Wenger may be vindicated in his decision to keep the youngster at Arsenal for the rest of the season after his first appearance for the club's Under-23 ranks.
Mavropanos, 20, was signed from Greek side PAS Giannina last week for a reported fee of £2.2m having been recommended by the club's new head of recruitment Sven Mislintat.
The club have planned for the youngster to immediately leave on loan, with Werder Bremen thought to have had a deal lined up, but a spate of injuries at the back delayed those plans.
Mavropanos immediately started training with the first-team and was named on the Gunners bench for the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final tie against Chelsea on 10 January with Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac injured.
Having been impressed with what he has seen so far, Wenger has decided to scrap those loan plans to instead keep him around the first-team for the remainder of the season. "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 recently said.
Arsenal fans got another glimpse of their sole January signing to date on Monday [15 January] after he impressed as the club's Under-23 ranks thrashed their Manchester United counterparts 4-0 at Meadow Park.
Jeff Reine-Adelaide and Vlad Dragomir got on the scoresheet before Eddie Nketiah added a late brace to seal a commanding win but the Greek youngster also caught the eye with a commanding performance against an admittedly woeful United.
Mavropanos, a formidable physical presence at the back last night compared to the other Arsenal youngsters around him, looked comfortable in possession, showing his impressive range of passing out from the back and showed good anticipation whenever United did manage to venture forward.