Unai Emery has been rocked by the news that Rob Holding could miss as much as nine months of action due to injury.
Holding had developed into a crucial player following the arrival of Emery in the summer, making 16 appearances under the Spaniard. Unfortunately, the Englishman was stretchered off during the recent 2-2 draw with Manchester United and things did not look promising. The extent of his injury was later revealed – a rupture of his anterior cruciate ligament which will require surgery.
The youngster joins Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal on the treatment table, leaving Emery with a selection headache in defence. With the Gunners unable to recall Calum Chambers from his loan spell at Fulham, the former PSG boss could be tempted to sign a new defender in the upcoming January transfer window.
One man who should be on his shortlist is Galatasaray wonderkid – Ozan Kabak. Valued at just £450k by Transfermarkt, the 18-year-old is considered as the brightest talent emerging from the Turkish club in recent years. Kabak has enjoyed a breakthrough season in the Super Lig this season, making ten appearances so far as well as three starts in the Champions League despite his tender age.
The defender shows maturity beyond his years and would be an excellent long-term replacement for Koscielny in the heart of the defence. Kabak loves to get stuck in – he has averaged two tackles per game so far this season. The youngster also reads the game fantastically, helping his side with 2.7 interceptions per game in the league this season. Kabak is also a massive threat in the air, winning an impressive 3.2 aerial duels per game this season. Not only does he excel defensively, but the Turkish youth international has also completed 85% of his passes meaning slotting into Emery’s system should be easy (WhoScored).
This move could prove to be a masterstroke by the Gunners.
Arsenal fans, thoughts?