‘It was the happiest day of my life’

Dinos Mavropanos will never forget April 29, 2018.

Just three months after joining the club from PAS Giannina, the Greece Under-21 international was handed his first start, against Manchester United in the Premier League.
It was a huge test but the 21-year-old relished facing off with Romelu Lukaku at Old Trafford.
“I prepared myself well from the moment the manager announced I was going to play,” Mavropanos told Arsenal Player. “This happened on the day of the game before leaving the hotel when he told us the starting XI and I was one of them. Since hearing that, the only thing that was in my mind was to get on the pitch and do what I know best.
“Of course I was a bit anxious and stressed because it was going to be my first game with Arsenal but I coped with it. I was focused on the instructions of my manager and was very happy with my performance. I just looked at the pitch and said, ‘This is what I’ve been dreaming of all these years’. The only thing I wanted to do was enjoy it.
“I can remember the entire game, in fact, even the moments before we arrived there. For me, it was probably the happiest day I’ve had so far in my life. We conceded a goal in injury time and we were very unlucky in that moment but I think we had a good game as a team. Me individually? I think I played well.
“I’m looking forward to coming back on to the pitch [now]. I believe it will be a fresh start, but I will come back stronger and give my best efforts to join the starting XI.”

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