Arsenal’s search for a new center-back seems to be drawing to a close with Arsenal said to be closing in on Swansea and Wales captain Ashley Williams. According to Goal, the British defender has agreed personal terms, will be receiving wages worth 60k Pounds per week and will be signing a 3 year contract at the Emirates but all these are subject to Arsenal agreeing a fee with Swansea. That shouldn’t be a problem after the much publicised unprecedented huge transfer kitty. That is good news, while I am elated at the imminent transfer, I wonder if Williams could be the new Sol Campbell at Arsenal. We seem to have found the new Tony Adams in Laurent Koscielny though he still has a long way to go and some key decisions to make before he can be spoken of in the same breath as the legendary center-back but he is certainly on course. All he needs to do is keep his head up and show good consistency.
Sol Campbell is a legend in his own rights having been a key figure in the central defence of the team that captured the Premier League unbeaten. Campbell was described as a tank owing to his size which made him dominant in the air against even the most imposing center forwards but what was a strength for him in the air was a weakness on the ground. The English defender struggled on the ground against very fast and tricky forwards. Another thing he brought to Arsenal was his organizational skills. He was good at keeping the defence in shape and this allowed Kolo Toure to flourish beside him. But he is long gone and so as our defensive
solidity until the latter part of last season.
Now that Williams seems the chosen candidate to bolster the squad, could he offer us what Campbell once offered us? Williams isn’t as dominant in the air as Sol but he is faster than the Englishman ever was. He is also very robust in his defending and a no- nonsense tackler. He is also very good at blocking shots as he averaged 1.3 blocks per match. That isn’t a bad return for a defender. He is also a leader as he is captain of Wales and Swansea and very good at organizing the defence. Let’s hope he brings all these to bear at Arsenal.
Unlike other players that might not see an Arsenal move attractive, Williams sees a move to Arsenal a step up the plate for him. From lowly Swansea to Arsenal where he gets to play UEFA Champions League football. That gives a feeling of déjà vu because Campbell also saw Arsenal that way, he quit Tottenham for free despite been captain because he saw Arsenal as the club where he will enjoy Champions League football and also proper shot at the top titles. He enjoyed both as he won the Premier League, FA Cup, also played Champions League football and came close to winning it in 2006.
There are more than ample similarities between both players but it stands to be seen if the new arrival will go on to prove himself worthy and rank himself amongst the legends where Campbell sits.