Could Philip Billing Become Top Billing At Arsenal?

Unai Emery’s Arsenal era has started slowly but surely.

After two tough games against Manchester City and Chelsea which ended in defeats, The Gunners went on to win their next two Premier League fixtures against West Ham United and Cardiff City.

Yet the North London club have still got some difficulties to resolve.

Petr Cech is still getting used to is new role as a ball playing goalkeeper. The defence still have to work on their high line. Plus the new Spanish manager has to try and get more out of Mesut Ozil.

Another issue Emery still needs to fix is getting more protection from the midfield positions.

French teenager Matteo Guendouzi has impressed but he’s far from the finished article. He’s still raw and he might need protected from time to time as he continues to get used to the English top flight.

For me, Granit Xhaka is a liability and I don’t see enough improvement in him. He’s started in all four league ties and has picked up three yellow cards. The Swiss international has won 1.5 tackles per game and committed 2.5 fouls. Those defensive stats aren’t good enough for a top class defensive midfielder.

Emery seems to be easing summer recruit Lucas Torreira in gently at The Emirates. The Uruguayan international has yet to start for Arsenal this term but when he’s entered the field as a substitute he looks composed and always willing to show for the ball. In his sixty-four minutes of Premier League football, Lucas has managed to successfully pass the ball 95% of the time. Again defensively his stats aren’t too hot but it’s hard to judge him on four substitute performances. I’d like to see the twenty-two year old start games once domestic football resumes after the international football

For me, Arsenal could do with at least one more holding midfielder and one who commits everything to the cause and can win the ball back for his team.

I think it could be worth the Gunners monitoring Danish youngster Philip Billings, who is currently impressing at Huddersfield Town.

The twenty-two year old has played in all four league for The Terriers so far this term.

Only eight players have managed to cover more ground than Billings in those games. The Dane has ran 45.684 kilometres, averaging a distance of 11.421 kilometres per game. No Arsenal man has managed to reach those kind of numbers and when you look at their displays they could do with someone running players down more.

Defensively Philip has also impressed with his statistics.

On average the Huddersfield midfielder has won 4.3 tackles in his opening four games. He’s also made 1.8 interceptions, only conceding one 1 foul per game and making 2 clearances. The holding player is also decent in the air, having won around 2 aerial duels per Premier League outing thus far. Only Matteo beats Billings in the interceptions stat, the Danish under-21 international wins every other defensive stat battle between himself and the regular Arsenal midfield starters.

His 76.9% passing success rate isn’t bad either, when you remember that Huddersfield won’t boss too many games in the league.

Billing had a very good game against Everton in his last outing, he even managed to grab a goal with his head from a corner during the 2-2 draw.

After that game his gaffer David Wagner praised his midfielder:

“I am very happy for Phil that he scored his Premier League goal.”

“He played very well together with Aaron in the centre.”

“They really closed the gaps and worked their socks off, and it wasn’t easy for Phil because he got a yellow card so early.”

“You have to be smart and you have to play with intelligence as he has done.”

Now I’m not suggesting that Philip Billing would walk into the Arsenal team, he wouldn’t be a blue chip signing. But he could be an affordable squad player that would give Unai Emery an option to play with more defensive discipline in midfield and give you more energy in the engine room too!

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