So Arsenal have signed 20 year old England youth international centre back from Bolton, and already the world of Arsenal fans is losing it.
On one side, we have those sitting dumbfounded. Arsenal have gone out and signed YET ANOTHER young player. What the hell is going on? Why do we even bother? Arsene Wenger only ruins them anyway.
On the other side, we have signed the Bolton Beckenbauer. The next Tony Adams. The man to play centre back for The Arsenal for the next 15 years.
The reality is, both of you are stupid.
He could be the next Tony Adams. He could also be the next Igor Stepanovs. Or the next Kyle Bartley – the last young centre back we bought from Bolton, now shipped out on loan from Swansea to Leeds.
Who would have thought in 2013, when Everton paid Barnsley £3m for John Stones ,that 3 years later he would be subject to a bidding war for around £50m? Likewise,a year later in 2014, Arsenal bought the equally as talented Calum Chambers for £16million, and he has since struggled to settle.
What I am perhaps trying to say is let’s give Rob Holding the chance. Let’s not hype him before any of us have seen him (let’s be honest, who watched Bolton last season?), but let’s also not write him off as a failure before he has even kicked a ball for the club.
Let’s allow him to develop into the player is destined to be. He could be another Kolo Toure, or could become another Johann Djourou. Allow him to become the best Rob Holding that he can be.
And another thing, let’s not get on his back.
He should not be Arsenal’s only new defensive signing. I still expect a senior centre back to come into the club. But if one does not, that is not Holding’s fault, blame Wenger.
When we signed Yaya Sanogo, the young Frenchman got a lot of unfair grief from many fans. It was not his fault Wenger failed to sign another striker. It was not his fault he was suddenly Arsenal’s second choice. That was down to Wenger. And he was derided every time he started. He was on to a loser before he had even kicked a ball at Arsenal.
This did not sit well. A youngster getting the blame for a managers decision? No. Just wrong.
So do not get on Holding’s back, it will not be his fault if we have to rely on him next season.
Signing youngsters is a hard thing to do. You need to do it. If you do not, you risk missing out on a top player, like Hector Bellerin.
You could wait for another side to sign the youngster, see how he progresses, and then sweep in. But then you end up in a scenario where every top club ignored John Stones & Dele Alli, and now both are worth a lot of money!
It is pretty much 13 years to the day that Arsenal had a young Yaya Toure on trial. Anyone who was at the game against Barnet would agree with how poor he was. No one there would have predicted the world beater that he became.
It is interesting that many who bash Wenger for signing youngsters also bash Wenger for letting Yaya Toure slip. You can not have the best of both worlds.
You take a risk on a kid, some pay off, some don’t. What is important is that you sign senior players to go with them.
There is no point signing Holding and Takuma Asano if we do not also sign a senior centre back and senior striker.
Rob Holding, welcome to Arsenal, and good luck.