Why Arsenal signing Martin Hinteregger could solve their defensive woes
The Austrian international, who played for Augsburg was signed by Frankfurt in the summer following an impressive loan spell in the second half of the season last year.
Arsenal, meanwhile, slumped to their fifth consecutive match without a win as they lost 2-0 to Leicester City at the King Power stadium.
The Gunners’ defensive woes continued as they were set up to fail when they took on the Foxes.
The loss against Leicester has put Emery under further scrutiny and nothing less than a win in the next fixture would save him the blushes.
Arsenal’s defensive lapses have been quite evident throughout the season with the Gunners conceding a total of 15 goals from 11 appearances – unacceptable from a side aiming a top-four finish.
Priced at £22m, Hinteregger could prove to be Emery’s instant solution at the back, as he and his squad seek a change of fortunes.
Let’s see if the Eintracht defender’s move to Emirates will resolve their defensive snag.
The 27-year old is not new to the business as he has 43 international caps under his belt. He has also been a key player for Frankfurt since his arrival from Augsburg this summer.
Out of a total of 10 games, he has played 9 league matches for the Eagles and has become their key man.
Though Arsenal bought David Luiz to tighten their defence, Arsenal’s performances reflect a different picture.
The Gunners still look shaky at the back, and the introduction of someone as experienced as Hinteregger could work well for a club that has let go of leads in four out of their last five games.
Good defensive skills
Hinteregger, known for his tackling skills and strength in the air, has been exceptional this season for the German side. With 3.4 aerial duels won per game, the Austrian is a towering presence at the back.
His aerial abilities this season have been impressive than that of Arsenal defenders. Sokratis leads the list for Gunners with 3.2 aerial duels won while Luiz a mere 1.2.
The Austrian is not a conventional centre-back but rather an attacking one. He has proven to be a threat going forward and has already scored three goals in Frankfurt’s last four outings.
However, for Arsenal, new-signing Luiz has been the lone performer, bagging two goals. No other defender has scored more for the Gunners, which highlights the Austrian’s significant status within his side.
Luiz (32) and Sokratis (31), now past their thirties, cannot get younger and age would soon catch up with these once-dominant centre-backs. Both men look a shadow of their past and have not been at the best of their abilities lately.
Back-up man Shkodran Mustafi has struggled at Arsenal since arriving three years back and commits a lot of errors.
Meanwhile, the young Rob Holding has not yet impressed everyone due to his injury-enforced absence. He only has one league start to his name this season.
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Considering his current form, experience and abilities in the air, the Austrian, by all means, outsmarts his counterparts at Arsenal. His inclusion at the back might help a defence struggling to close down its opponents.
Emery should act soon and bring this in-form man home to avoid further ire from all sides.