As far as we are concerned the most talented centre-back in Premier League history is Rio Ferdinand. There have been many sensational stoppers since the inception of the league – players who were almost impossible to get past – including Adams, Keown, Stam and Vidic.
But the beauty of Ferdinand in his pomp, and a major reason why Manchester United won so many titles, is his exceptional ball-playing ability. It is one thing being able to do the defensive part well and Ferdinand did that. In his prime he was lightning quick and strong and read the game brilliantly.
But what still sets him apart from most of the rest is his skill on the ball and first touch – which was so often the difference between giving the ball straight back to the opposition and setting up a chance for his own team.
Reports today suggest that Arsenal may have found a little Ferdinand of their own. The Mirror reports that Arsenal could do a January deal for the Notts Forest youngster Jamaal Lascelles.
The 20 year old, who has played at various levels for the England youth set up, has only turned out 14 times for the senior Nottingham Forest side. He’s also spent some time on loan at Stevenage. But according to the Mirror Arsenal are suitably impressed to try to snare the youngster.
Some exciting news this morning that you (Arsenal fans) could finally be bringing in Jamaal Lascelles in this transfer window.
The Notts Forest youngster is the opposite of a “good old fashioned English centre-back”, think of a young Rio Ferdinand and you’re not too far off.
He’s comfortable on the ball, good pace, good strength, has an eye for a good pass and can turn defence into attack within a few seconds.
For us the perfect combination at centre-back is to have a man-mountain to do the dirty work and a ball-player alongside him. But ball-playing centre-backs are few and far between. If this guy is the real deal then Arsenal may have flipped the nuts.
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