Arteta praises player who nearly joined today’s rivals Newcastle

Mikel Arteta has praised Arsenal’s Rob Holding ahead of their clash with Newcastle United, who he nearly joined this summer.

The defender came to the manager in the summer to question his options, having seen both William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes join up with the squad, while Pablo Mari and Calum Chambers were both on the road to recovery also, and with Shkodran Mustafi, David Luiz and Sokratis also in contention.

A loan deal was mooted with Newcastle, before the manager put his foot down and decided that he was needed in North London, and he now has the most minutes of any of our other options at CB.

The manager has now opened up on the decisions that were made in the summer, and the conversations which followed.

“It’s true that in the summer he came to me because we had a large amount of central defenders, he wasn’t sure about how many minutes he was going to have,” said the Spaniard in his pre-match conference (via Football.London).

“And we stopped him going anywhere because we knew he was going to be an important player for us.”

“Yeah well, it was almost a year ago when he came back from his injury,” he continued. “He had a period where he didn’t play and they he played against Leeds at home.

“When you compare how he has evolved from there in a year’s time it’s incredible. It’s down to him. How professional he is, how much he wants to learn, how much he puts that into every training session and then his character and his personality.

“He’s growing in every aspect and I’m really happy with him.”

Arteta added that it is his attitude and work in training which has kept him in the team.

“Well, it’s what I see on a daily basis from him,” he said. “As well the room that he still has for improvement, his age, and I really like what I see. He has earned that right himself.

“It’s true that there have been many other conditions for him to play that many minutes because we have had injuries we have had other issues.

“But he has earned that right and I think nobody can question that. When he has played he has done really well.”

Has Holding excelled this season? Does he deserve his place as first-choice amongst our other stars?


Tags mikel arteta Newcastle Rob Holding


  1. Khadii says:

    So far so good for me.
    At least he’s better and more consistent that all our other right footed CBs

    1. Onyango says:

      Chambers looked good too before his injury. If Holding and hopefully Saliba can give us top performances then right CB will be sorted for years and the third CB(Chambers) can be used for utility given injuries, suspensions and rotation for cup games. Left CB seems good enough with Gabriel and Mari

  2. Onyango says:

    Rob Holding seems to go under the radar because he does the simple things expected of an old school defender. I think he has been solid enough alongside Gabriel and now Mari .He seems to play better in a back 4 than the back three we played earlier and I hope he will fully regain the form he had prior to his injury.

  3. McLovin says:

    I think he’s more than decent squad player to have around. Seems happy about his role too. And he’s homegrown so there’s that to consider.

    I hope he stays.

  4. ken1945 says:

    Holding was one of the players described as “dross” not so long ago…. it makes one wonder why some fans are so quick in decrying our own players!!!!

  5. jon fox says:

    If only he had any real pace he could be a top player. But that lack will always be a weakness!

    1. Lord Denning says:

      In the modern game having good pace vital,but he’s good enough for arsenal si keeping him was the right decision

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