Is Arsenal’s Latest Signing A Pure Gamble Or Planned Execution?

Arsenal completed the signing of another central defender and while many would have expected the Premier League team to have made a run for a world class defender ahead of the next season, what Arsene Wenger and his team have instead gotten is another player who has tremendous potential but is not the final product as of yet.

Rob Holding has now joined the Premier League side and the 20-year-old has already made his mark, in a way, as he picked up the number 8 jersey which was vacated by outgoing captain Mikel Arteta. While the 20-year-old will not be playing in the same position as the talented Spanish star, he is expected to join the back four in a few years’ time as the Gunners have put their defensive eggs in one big basket.

Holding is being seen as the player who can make a difference in a year or two and many have started to liken him to another Arsenal defender, Laurent Koscielny. The big question is, can the Englishman replicate the performances of the French central defender?

Too young to make the call

The real fact is that Holding is too young to be burdened with the pressure of being called as the next Laurent Koscielny. The 20-year-old does have a lot of great qualities and is known to be comfortable on the ball but he also has a wise head on the young shoulders and more often than not was seen as talking to the other defenders in the Bolton side last season.

He seems to feature a part of Per Mertesacker in him and that would be good news for Arsenal fans as they have missed someone who can organise the defence in the back four. Holding might not be the leader of the defence anytime soon but if he is as vocal as he was during his Bolton days, it does suggest that good things will happen for him at Arsenal.

Another aspect of his game which should be spoken about is his speed, he might not be the quickest defender in the world but he is astute enough to ensure that no attacker gets past him and that would mean he shouldn’t be stripped off possession by any of the forwards and also would be able to keep up with most of them.

Holding does have a bright future at the moment but we all need time to see what kind of player he turns out to be. There is time on Holding’s hand and the last thing he would need is the pressure to break him before he can even get into the Arsenal side. He won’t be a Koscielny or Mertesacker but he could, theoretically, turn out to be a great mixture of both.

Written by Kevin Harrison

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