As bargains go, Rob Holding is right up there.
His £2m capture is akin to a stroll through the aisles of TK Maxx, finding an Armani shirt and then looking at the label and seeing it priced in the same area as a can of baked beans.
The boy from Bolton pretty much hit the ground running in his first season, a defensive resource fiasco led to the youngster being flung in at the deep end and we found that he took to the jump from the Championship to the Premiership like the proverbial duck to water.
Since then, he has been there or thereabouts in terms of the first choice central defensive pairing. When Unai Emery began his tenure at Arsenal, Holding was one of the players who seemed to flourish in the new tactics and regimen.
Injury was the only thing that could stop him and so it was, but now, after a prolonged amount of recovery that has seen Holding take all necessary steps to return stronger, we have the prospect of our defence having Holding come back to strengthen us.
At just 24, he is thought to be our long term option at centre-back, alongside £32m summer capture, William Saliba. Holding has earned this reputation through excellent displays that have been full of aerial intent, physical strength and a positioning that looks to have been hewn from years of experience.
England full honours must be just around the corner too, given the respective form of Everton’s Michael Keane, Liverpool’s Joe Gomez and the injury concerns of John Stones.
It has been his consistency that has him marked as a potential Arsenal stalwart. His performances against the cream of the Premier League has never really dipped, and he doesn’t really have a weakness per se. He may not be the fastest, but he is no slouch. He is strong in the air, knows when to put in a tackle and can hold the line effectively.
Holding coming back will make us stronger, something we can look forward to improving our standing. Our backline has been our concern so far and with the boy from Bolton coming back, we are on a stronger foot than before.
That goes for this season – and the future.
What a bargain!