By Dominic Toner
Rio Ferdinand has revealed he is thoroughly impressed by the Arsenal defence this season.
The Gunners are unbeaten in their last 14 games across all competitions and their only defeat of the season came in the first Premier League match against Liverpool.
Arsenal were beaten 4-3 by Jurgen Klopp’s attacking side, but since then have demonstrated a real resilience in defence.
Arsene Wenger’s side have kept four clean sheets in their opening 10 league games and have settled on a familiar backline of Petr Cech, Hector Bellerin, Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal.
Former Manchester United and England centre-back Ferdinand believes there are few weaknesses in Arsenal’s best defence.
“This is the best back four I have seen at Arsenal for many a year,” Ferdinand wrote in the Evening Standard. “Laurent Koscielny has been one of the most consistent defenders for the last few seasons and has found a great partner in summer signing Shkodran Mustafi.
“Hector Bellerin is probably the best right-back in the Premier League right now. He is supremely quick, not shy in getting forward, but likes to defend as well. Nacho Monreal has turned into a consistent left-back. There are no frills about him, but he is comfortable on the ball in possession and a good defender too.
He added: “I think keeper Petr Cech has also helped settle things down. His influence on the back four shouldn’t be underestimated.”
Arsenal signed Premier League veteran Cech in 2015 from London rivals Chelsea and he has solved the club’s recent history of uncertain goalkeepers.
The 34-year-old has made 52 appearances for the Gunners since his arrival at the Emirates and kept an impressive 24 clean sheets.
Spaniard Bellerin has emerged as one of the club’s most consistent performers in recent season since breaking through the club’s academy and was named in the PFA Team of the Year last season.
Summer signing Mustafi has forged a strong partnership alongside team-mate Koscielny, meaning Per Mertesacker, Gabriel and youngster Rob Holding are used as back-up.
Monreal appears to be Arsenal’s first-choice left-back and took time to settle following his move in 2013, but has the edge over Englishman Kieran Gibbs.
In other Arsenal news, the club’s supporters have reacted on Twitter to news of Cesc Fabregas’ reported loan move.