As we approach the final couple of weeks of the 2017-18 season, there is nothing left for Arsenal to play for, after they crashed out of the Europa League losing 2-1 to Atletico Madrid on aggregate.
The Gunners suffered back to back defeats against Manchester United and Atletico Madrid and the only positives we can extract from the games were the performances of the Gunners’ central defense.
Let’s look at the 3 bright prospects in central defense that Arsenal retain with them going into the new chapter in the club’s history.
The 22 year old versatile defender, signed from Southampton in 2014 has been played at various positions by Wenger, but it seems his preferred position where he might settle is at Central Defense. The youngster has played at Right-back, Central-midfield and Center-back for the Gunners and has had impressive displays. In the 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford on Sunday, he excelled and kept the United forwards at bay for most of the game.
He also had an impressive game against Atletico Madrid after coming on as a substitute after Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny was stretchered off due to an injury. The tall defender really possesses the talent to lead the Arsenal defense in a couple years time.
Here is another home grown talent. Rob signed for the Gunners in 2016 after earning player of the season award at Bolton Wanderers. He came to North London in a 2 million deal, to which many think is an absolute steal. He is always compared to John Stones of Manchester City and how he he has the potential to beat him in all departments.
The Englishman impressed massively in his opening weeks at Arsenal which has resulted in him signing a new deal with the Gunners. We can surely see a partnership of Holding-Chambers in central defense more often in the upcoming season.
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The 20 year old signed for Arsenal in January 2018 and after impressing in training, Wenger handed him his first start alongside Chambers in central defense against Manchester United and played really well against Romelu Lukaku in the game and contained him completely.
The Greek boy still has plenty to learn, to progress in his career and it all depends on how the new manager and his system uses the young Greek lad. But he has already showed signs of a top defender under Wenger’s guidance even in such less time.
It is very important for Arsenal to keep these 3 talented central defense prospects together and mould them in a way they realize their true potentials. It remains to be seen whether they are deployed in the 3 man defense or played in the traditional back 4 system or a back five maybe. We will see, but with Koscielny and Mertesacker out and uncertainty over future of Shkodran Mustafi, these 3 players hold an important place in the team as it stands.