Arsenal have had some truly legendary defenders in their history, so oh how fans wish they could have one of them in their prime now.
So far, it’s been another season of Arsenal doing well in scoring goals and getting wins but finding it difficult to keep out goals and walk away from games with clean sheets.
You could argue that long-term injuries to the likes of Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding, two players who have improved massively this season under Unai Emery, have played a role in Arsenal’s woeful defensive stats this season, but one thing for certain is that we can expect reinforcements this summer.
Of course, Arsenal’s defence is something that needs fixing ASAP. Sokratis needs a better partner than either Shkodran Mustafi or Laurent Koscielny, and with the club being ambitious this summer with reports indicating that Emery is targeting Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti, but planning for the future is something the Gunners should be looking into as well.
Thankfully, the club already has two players that could man the back-line for years to come.
Step forward, Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos.
The two youngsters have the potential to be the future centre-back pairing for Arsenal for years to come. We have already seen this season that Holding is a player that Emery admires and has entrusted with starting in the defence before his ACL injury. Mavropanos, though, will need a bit more time.
The Greek defender has found minutes hard to come by, with the 21-year-old missing most of the season so far too injury and being excluded in the Europa League squad, but the potential is there for Mavropanos to become a world-class defender.
Although no plans on his future have been said yet, it could be possible that Mavropanos will spend next season out on loan to gain first-team minutes away from Arsenal, something the club can afford to do if they are to bring in another centre-back this season and if the Greek defender impresses he could find himself within the first-team picture upon his arrival.
Holding will also likely be back in the starting XI when he is fully fit from his long-spell out on the injury table, but it is important that the 23-year-old is not rushed back, otherwise, it could damage his body more and Arsenal would have another case study for a talented player ruined by injury.
In Holding and Mavropanos, Arsenal has the future of the defence, but the club must be smart with how they integrate the duo into the first-team from both an injury standpoint and a development standpoint.
Arsenal fans, could Holding and Mavropanos be the future centre-backs of the club?Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!