Aston Villa chief Johan Lange could repeat his January transfer window masterstroke if emerging rumours are to be believed…
The Danish sporting director turned to the Gunners earlier in the year, landing Calum Chambers on a free transfer, having fallen down the pecking order under manager Mikel Arteta.
And now he could repeat that shrewd decision by luring the 26-year-old to Villa Park.
Holding, just like Chambers, finds himself on the periphery of the first-team set-up at London Colney. He has been named on the bench for both of Arsenal’s opening two wins against Crystal Palace and Leicester City.
Takehiro Tomiyasu is also due to return to the side from injury, so his place is in further jeopardy as he’s already behind Gabriel, Ben White and William Saliba.
With Villa needing further defensive depth after losing Carlos for the next six months at least, it could be wise to move for Holding, seeing as he’s not going to get game time at the Gunners.
“Holding came in and did a great job for them against West Ham, and I think he’s a reliable defender. I remember when he was close to joining Newcastle but he’s proved Arteta right for blocking that move,” claimed former Arsenal striker Paul Merson last season.
Indeed, the 6 foot 2 titan ranks amongst the top 1% of centre-backs across Europe for blocks per 90 (2.66) and also sits within the top 18% for clearances (5.33), as per FBref.
Holding is also adept with the ball at his feet, having failed to drop below an 86.8% passing accuracy in any competition since 2018, so the £45k-per-week colossus could fill that void left behind by the ball-playing Carlos.
Therefore, Lange must make a late move for the Englishman, who has been lauded as an “animal” and a “monster” after some of his displays at Arsenal, as he would be an ideal candidate to bolster Gerrard’s defensive options.
In doing so, the Dane could repeat his Chambers masterstroke.