The Perfect Defensive Signing For Arsenal
Arsenal have spent £66m this summer yet many don’t think Arsenal have strengthened that well and consider Sanchez the only notable addition.
It is arguable that every signing this summer has been an improvement, however marginal, on what we had last season and in Sanchez we’ve addressed one of our main problems from last year, which was a lack of pace. Different people will have different opinions on our squad additions and that’s a whole other discussion but suffice to say, I am confident this side will deliver again.
Many people take their cue on Arsenal’s squad strength from pundits and newspaper reports but a quick look through a list of the top overall online betting sites and seeing Arsenal as favourites to finish fourth it’s not hard to see why there’s a lack of confidence in Arsenal’s title chances.
Arsenal kick off against Besiktas soon and save for a late fitness call on Koscielny Arsenal could have lined up with a very makeshift defence and it is a lack of options so early in the season that has added fuel to the “Arsenal need more players” fire.
Some say that we have to add a new defender and others say we need a whole new spine. I think three more players is overkill and you need to find the right balance between strengthening your squad and adding too many players as Tottenham found to their chagrin last season.
I spoke recently about how having versatile players is beneficial to the team and gives us more depth that a cursory glance at the squad would suggest. I think a hybrid holding midfielder-cum-defender would be the perfect addition to the team but if we were to bring in just a defender I’d love the guy this article is about.
Arsenal are reported to be close to signing Kostas Manolas but if I could choose I would love Arsenal to go after Benedikt Höwedes. The Schalke captain has long been linked with a move away from the Bundesliga and I hope that if he moves, he joins the growing German influence in N5.
Höwedes offers something familiar yet different to what Arsenal recently had. Höwedes plays with similar aggression but with more accuracy and stability than Vermaelen did. Benedikt is adept at intercepting and disrupting attacks high up the pitch which would suit the high line that Arsenal play.
Benedikt reads the game well and has excellent positioning and timing. Timing of challenges are crucial as committed players are often the most carded players and Benedikt’s fouls stats are quite high but you must consider the more lenient nature of the Premier League compared with the Bundesliga when judging his foul rate.
One of the main strengths Benedikt possesses that I like, is his concentration. He rarely gets so engrossed in a game that he is unaware of what is unfolding around him and judges the ball path very well and doesn’t allow himself to be tricked by players running in behind him or being dragged away by the wrong man. This concentration makes him good in the air when other defenders are easily distracted by the run of a man rather than the flight of the ball.
Fittingly for a team like Arsenal his passing and distribution is solid albeit it a little simplistic and Höwedes isn’t afraid to lump it to clear danger which is something I know many Arsenal supporters would love as the cries of “clear it” or “get it out of there” or “smash it up the pitch” reverberate around wherever Arsenal supporters may be.
Benedikt is also versatile and can play all across the back-line which would certainly suit a team like Arsenal who have had their fair share of injuries – although we hope an ex-colleague of Benedikt’s in the German National Team setup, Shad Forsythe, can help turn that around.
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