Former star believes signing could end Arsenal team-mates chances

Martin Keown has praised the summer signing of Rob Holding, whilst claiming his arrival may have scuppered Calum Chambers hopes of an Arsenal career.

The 20 year-old arrived in a £2.5 Million deal from Bolton Wanderers this summer, and following a number of injuries shortly before the beginning of the season, was forced to go straight into the first-team line-up against Liverpool.

His new side went onto lose that match 4-3, but he was not blamed as being central to the result, and has since shown he is more than competent in defence with two impressive displays alongside Laurent Koscielny.

Martin Keown has now moved to praise the new Arsenal boy, whilst being extra-critical of his team-mate Chambers, who has since left on loan.

Keown said: “Holding looks like a good acquisition because they’ve only paid £2.5m for him and he looks solid,” Keown told FourFourTwo.

“But I just feel that when you’re a central defender in that position, it’s like goalkeepers – do we play young goalkeepers, do we play young central defenders?

“As soon as it goes wrong there’s suddenly a lot of pressure being put on those individuals.

“Holding handled it well in the first match, thrown in at the deep end. 

“You expect Chambers to have coped better because he’d been around longer, and maybe that’s why they’ve shipped him out. Maybe they feel he hasn’t developed.”

It will be interesting to see whether Holding retains his place in the starting line-up against Southampton on Saturday, or whether new signing Shkodran Mustafi will displace him from his role.

The 20 year-old was a close second in our club’s Vitality Arsenal Player of the Month award for August, and could well be given one more start while his new German team-mate gets settled into his new surroundings and players.

Does Holding deserve to keep hold of his place on current form? Is he still deemed a risk? And will Chambers be able to get back on the upward curve

Pat J

Tags Arsenal Chambers Holding Mustafi


  1. Wenger might go with Holding and Kos on Saturday but I think our major CB pairing would be Mustafi / Kos this season. Mustafi and Holding will pair in some games as well when Kos needs rest or injured as he isn’t getting any younger.

    Interesting to see How Gabriel reacts when he is fit. I hope he comes good. Played well in some games last season and at times, callous.

    Competition will only help the team.. Kos, Mustafi, Holding and Gabriel. We also have Mertsacker that will help in the dressing room and he will play few games here and there.

    I have been impressed with Holding after three games under his belt. He will learn alot from the experience CBs.

  2. I’m a little surprised that Keown didn’t mention his own hardships when very young before eventually returning to the Gunners. I thought he’d have told the kid no sweat, this gives you a chance to concentrate playing in one position. It’s hard enough getting games at 19 in an Arsenal side, tougher still is plugging holes when your still learning. I thought he might have mentioned, how it was a young T Adams, who did for Keown what Holding did with CC. Chambers is a little older now, but he’s still got plenty of time to become a valuable member of the Arsenal family.

  3. Lets be honest guys- Chambers is rubbish! For me he does not have what it takes to be an exceptional defender unfortunately. Lets hope he improves and fast otherwise young Holding is taking his spot!
    Maybe a loan out to a smaller club could help him improve!

    1. Chambers raw talent is fantastic. Unfortunately, you don’t defend with raw talent.

      Chambers has the worst problem for a defender. He makes major mistakes. You can afford to take chances and make mistakes in attack. But one or two mistakes from a defender can lose the game and even ruin a season. Defenders must be dependable and consistent. Sadly, thus far he has not been.

      The strange thing is he actually looked very good in his first games for Arsenal. Something happened. Maybe he can work it out on loan. I won’t write him off as “rubbish” yet.

    2. Yes, I would tend to agree with you on Chambers. For me, he hasn’t the speed or the skill to cut it in the EPL. His sense of positioning is poor and he lacks confidence. This is my view. What more can he have not going for him? It was a poor deal £16m for a second-string defender from Southampton. Wenger has to admit (if privately) and move him on. In 8 years of time (when he is 29) he may well become a reliable defender for some club but at the moment he is showing less of a talent even than we bought him a few years ago. I cringe when I have to watch him – as do some of his team-mates.

      1. By the way, now that he is on loan at ‘Borough’ let us see if he can cut it at their level. I would say the same goes for Wallcott – another disappointment, £10m purchase all those years ago again from Southampton who is living a charmed life under Wenger. He has had 10 years to improve but instead he has gone backwards in everything except his salary – £140k a week, a daylight robbery. Get rid, Mr Wenger, get rid.

  4. Yes. Holding seems to be the real deal. And if he does continues to play well it could well interfere with the progression of another CB. Which CB? That is difficult to predict. Could be Chambers. Could be Gabriel. Who knows? So much can happen to change the outlook.

  5. Alexis almost has one goal in every two games. He’s got thirty goals from sixty six games I think it is now. You wont find another winger in this league who has better stats than that. He also has assists, and he has his high intensity displays. Now ask yourself, Theo, is he good enough to play opposite wing. If he stops defensive duties can we put up with him again. Theo has allot to prove, and having Alexis on the opposite wing, will both, make him look bad, but can also dig him out at times. There’s no excuse for last season, he needs to improve on everything. Good luck to him.

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