Arsenal’s season has yet again been let down by frailties defensively. It’s story that I’ve heard far too many times to be frank. Something that manager Arsene Wenger needs to address once and for all. No that does not mean giving Sol Campbell another year. Yet Arsenal may not have to lay out a fortune on a centre back and holding midfielder. Arsenal could already have one on their books who can step up to the plate. His name is Harvard Nordtveit.
The Norwegian 19 yr old defender joined Arsenal in 2007 for an initial fee of £500,000 and moving possibly to £2 million depending on appearances. He has spent time on loan at Salamanca, Lillestrom and has this season at Bundesliga side FC Nurnberg. Despite only being nineteen, Harvard Nordveit has been hailed as one of the brightest prospects at Arsenal.
So what qualities would Harvard Nordveit bring to the current Arsenal first team? Well for starters versatility. Initially a centre back, the young gunner has expanded his ability to play in a wide range of positions. He has operated as a right back for Norwegian side Lillestrom in 2009 and now for German side FC Nurnberg as a holding midfielder. Upon securing a loan move to the German side Havard Nordveit told Young Gunners ‘Arsenal want to put me under pressure to see what I can do. They are always searching for the highest level for me.’ Given Arsenal’s expansive game where movement and understanding of numerous positional responsibilities is key. Nordveit would have no problem fitting into Arsenal’s team. At 6ft 2in the Norwegian under 21 international offers a strong defensive aerial presence.
Yet, Harvard Nordveit’s key strength is his tactical awareness. His ability to cut out passes and monitor striker’s movement has been hailed. Following the Arsenal’s youngster’s move to FC Nurnberg’s how exactly has he fared in such a test? Rather well so it appears. FC Nurnberg were always going to struggle to maintain their top flight status having gained promotion only last season. They currently sit in 14th place, yet with only three games left of the season could well fall foul to relegation.
Nordveit has turned out 16 times this season for the German side and impressed significantly. The German media have been hailing his performances and claiming he is set for a bright future. So whilst Arsenal may be feeling gloomy as another season ends trophyless. There is light at the end of the tunnel, defensively Arsenal may have a trick up their sleeve in the form of a Norwegian 19 yr old.
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