Arsenal defender Rob Holding has committed his long-term future to the club by signing a new and improved contract, according to The Athletic.
Arsene Wenger signed the Englishman for just £2 million (BBC) from Bolton in 2016. Holding has played 96 times for us but a serious knee injury in December 2018 cast doubt on his future.
The defender returned to action at the start of last season but had his fair share of problems. He wasn’t high up in the pecking order and that made him want to consider his future at the Emirates back in September.
Newcastle United were reportedly very close to signing Holding in the summer. Senior figures at Arsenal were prepared to let him leave, but Mikel Arteta intervened and he stayed put. (The Athletic)
The 25-year-old has played 18 times this term in all competitions. He has started each of our last 11 games in the league, and has formed a tremendous partnership with Pablo Mari at the back recently.
Holding’s contract was set to run out in 2023 but his new deal means that he will stay here for a lot longer.
Good move by Arsenal?
Arsenal’s board often come under a ton of criticism for the way they handle players’ contracts, and rightly so. We have made a real mess over the years, but it’s good to know that we’re learning from our mistakes.
Holding may not be the first name on Arteta’s team sheet but he is an important part of our squad. The Arsenal boss even labelled his progression since last December as ‘incredible’ recently (Goal), and it is no surprise that he wasn’t allowed to leave in the summer.
Even if Holding doesn’t become the player we think he can be, his new deal protects his value. An established 25-year-old English defender is a valuable asset for us, and if it doesn’t work out, we can always sell him for good money in the next year or so.