Scout Report – Sander Berge
Yet another year arsenal are in the market for a defensive midfielder. It’s hard to justify if the club ever found a replacement after the Viera – Gilberto Silva era. Most players who graced the position have had obvious weakness, leading Arsene to pursue his next Viera every transfer window. The midfielder currently linked with arsenal is Norway international Sander Berge.
Born in a family of athletes, his father and brother represented Norway in basketball and grandfather represented Norway in football. Sander followed suit and began his career in sports. Starting his career in second division of Norwegian football, his talent became obvious and was eventually snapped by Genk in January. He was signed as a replacement for Ndidi who moved to Leicester city. For a 19 year old, he quickly adapted to the Belgian league and has racked up 17 appearances already at genk.
Blessed with athletic genes, sander stands at 6 foot 5, giving him an obvious advantage in the middle of the field. Known to be an able defensive midfielder, he has continued to build that reputation in Belgium. His two main abilities which should interest Arsene are his composure in possession and his ability to drop deep and collect the ball from his centre-backs and distribute it. Ball distribution from the middle became a huge problem at Arsenal when santi cazorla was ruled out for the season. Sander can fill that void, though in a more defensive approach.
The player’s head coach, Albert Stuivenberg said,
“At 18 he is already very mature. He is intelligent, reads the game well and takes the initiative. He has the potential to become a future leader.”
Glowing praise for a 19-year-old and further testament on how highly the Norwegian is rated. As an ever present in Genk’s Europa League run to the quarter final, he averaged 2.3 tackles and 2.2 interceptions per game. He also had 40 passes at a success rate of 82.1% and averaged 0.5 key passes and an impressive 2.2 dribbles. Though his contribution in the final third and his passing accuracy is something that needs to be improved, he has proved to be an able technical defensive midfielder.
With Arsenal lacking a decent defensive midfielder, and with major transfer funds available, Sander at £19million could be a risky yet rewarding buy for Arsene Wenger. Francis Coquelin has not impressed and did everything wrong last season. He needs to be replaced and selling him off and replacing him with Sander Berge would be a wise option for Arsenal as the Norwegian would perfectly fit into the scheme of things at the Emirates Stadium.