In the past few days, we have been discussing our Conundrum at full-back. Some very interesting discussions indeed. It seems that unlike last years, there is a bit more confidence in our Center-Back options.
The general feeling is that Gabriel has been a good acquisition and that Mari has done the job well when called upon. There are still some (justifiably?) doubts about David Luiz and the majority of us think that Arteta has done well to take Sokratis out of the squad, send Saliba on loan and reduce the playing time of a player like Mustafi. We have also realized that, if we are really in need, Tierney could play at LCB although it would be a waste given his top performances at LB and Chambers has deputized decently at RCB at times.
That leaves us with Holding. Yesterday was a very gloomy day for some of us as we saw Man Utd go top of the EPL after their win over Burnley but there was also a potentially good news with the extension of Holding’s contract.
Holding’s career at AFC has been very inconsistent to say the least. Initially, Holding had done excellent and then he got injured and when he came back, he really struggled. Then his injuries continue to plague his career with us but since April-May last year, he seems to have hit good form and his performances have been more consistent. He has been solid at the back for the most part lately but when we were struggling, he also struggled especially in one-on-one situations. His main weaknesses, namely speed and at times also positioning, do get exposed and when they do, we are in deep trouble. He has not been helped by sub-par performances by Bellerin and Soares. However, one must say that overall in the last 6 months, he has been more of a “good performer”. So is his extension a good news? What are your views on Holding holding the fort for us? Is he a squad player or an automatic starter?