Following Arsenal’s comfortable season-opening 3-0 win against Fulham, Mikel Arteta insisted that defender Rob Holding wouldn’t be leaving on loan following his solid performance.
Arteta told BT Sport ‘I said to him (Holding) change your mind because you’re not going anywhere’.
The Athletic claimed a couple of weeks ago that the centre-back was set to join Newcastle on a season-long loan deal, however the Mail recently reported that Holding’s improvement has impressed Arteta.
Holding was at the heart of the north London outfit’s defence this afternoon, alongside summer signing Gabriel Magalhaes and Kieran Tierney – who is starring on the left of a centre-back three.
Holding is clearly full of confidence, the former England youth international showed as much with a brilliant and skilful run which led to the corner that saw defensive partner Gabriel score his first goal.
“Gabriel did really well, he hadn’t played for six months!”
“Mo Elneny was brilliant today again.”
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) September 12, 2020
Holding had slipped down the pecking order after a serious knee injury in December 2018, considering the number of central defenders that the Gunners have it seemed as though minutes would be difficult.
Holding started 12 of his 18 first-team appearances for the Gunners last season, the Bolton academy graduate barely put a foot wrong in what was his 40th top-flight outing this afternoon.
Arsenal just need to keep their defenders fit now that it seems as though they are building some stability at the back, constant injury troubles have left the club to amass a number of options – but none of these stand out as world-class.