Arsenal shouldn’t think twice about offering a new deal to their rising young English star – opinion


Arsenal Opinion: A new deal for Rob Holding – good move?

According to the Sun, Arsenal are set to offer defender Rob Holding a new deal despite the 23-year-old being ruled out for the remainder of the season with a long-term knee injury.

Holding ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in the 2-2 draw against Man United back in December and is not expected to feature until September next season.

However, manager Unai Emery is happy with the youngster’s progress and has identified him as the long-term successor to the throne of club-captain Laurent Koscielny at the heart of Arsenal’s defence. (h/t The Sun)

Holding featured 16 times for the Gunners till December and established himself one of the mainstays of the backline under Unai Emery, playing a key role to help Arsenal string together an unbeaten run of 22 games in all competitions.

A product of Bolton Wanderers’ youth system, Holding rose to prominence at his boyhood club before signing for the Gunners in 2016. The 23-year-old, who was used sporadically back in his earlier days at the Emirates by Arsene Wenger, has made a total of 60 appearances for the Gunners across all competitions, scoring once.

Arsenal’s decision to offer Holding a new deal should come as a piece of welcome news to the fans, with the Gunners struggling at the back throughout the current campaign.

Arsenal have the poorest defensive record amongst the top six clubs in the division and the decision to tie down one of the young promising centre-backs to a new deal can certainly be seen as a step in the right direction as Emery looks to build a formidable squad for the future.

While Shkodran Mustafi has let Arsenal down on several occasions with his lack of composure, sloppy passing and poor game awareness, Rob Holding flourished at the heart of the defence alongside summer recruit Sokratis earlier in the campaign.

The 23-year-old has enjoyed his most fruitful spell at Arsenal this season and he certainly has all the makings of developing into a reliable presence at the back in the years to come.

Emery’s philosophy demands quality on the ball even from the players at the back and Holding has excelled under the Spaniard’s style of playing the ball out from the back with short exchanges.

While someone like Mustafi has struggled to move the ball forward, the youngster has shown good composure and passing skills, making him a perfect fit for Emery’s system.

Holding averages 61.4 passes per game with an accuracy percentage of 87.5, including 3.6 successful long balls per game in the Premier League this term.

However, he has a lot more to his game, with his towering 6ft. 3 inches frame providing him with an obvious height advantage over most of his attacking counterparts.

Averaging 2.1 aerial duels per game, he is certainly a valuable asset to the team while defending set-pieces. He is not particularly agile, nor does he have a lot of pace but Holding has improved a lot in terms of his game-reading and positioning.

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Holding is one of the highly-rated homegrown talents in the Premier League and he is likely to play an important role for Arsenal in the years to come. He is a player with a bright future and that said, they should offer him a new deal at the earliest.

Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game... keen eye for tactical battles and love to discuss the financial aspects of football...other hobbies include reading, listening to music, playing FIFA on PlayStation, traveling, etc. Follow me on Facebook

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