Rob Holding is a good defender, but watching last season, it felt like he didn’t fit in with what Arteta was trying to do at the Emirates. The Englishman had failed to impress in the few chances he was given under Arteta, and many felt that with Arteta seeking to inject quality into his squad, it was about time to move him on for another top defender.
Before the transfer window shut, Holding, the second longest-serving Arsenal player after Mohammed Elneny, who joined in the summer of 2016 after being Bolton’s player of the season, secured a move to Crystal Palace.
It took Palace’s £4 million offer to convince the Gunners to let Holding leave. About his Arsenal exit, the Englishman feels it was the right time for him to leave Arsenal, reinvent himself, play regular football, and continue being a role model.
“Obviously, I’m moving further south from where I’m from —I’m south of the river now— so I’m excited to get started and get involved,” Holding told Palace TV.
“Playing against Crystal Palace the number of years I have, seeing the fans and how intimidating Selhurst Park can be, and how loud it can get — I’m looking forward to being on the right side of that this time!
“I was just starting my eighth season at Arsenal. It was the right time to step back and reassess where I want to go in my career and go and play some first-team football. Luckily enough, Palace came up, so I’m very happy.”
Holding also said: “Obviously watching them, [Eberechi] Eze and [Michael] Olise, they’re real, young talent proving themselves at this level, so it’s exciting to be involved with them as well.
“Hopefully, I can bring all sorts of assets in terms of experience in the Premier League, guiding youngsters, like I have done when I was at Arsenal.
“I was looked up to a lot by the youngsters, so hopefully, I can fit into the same role here and help people on their journeys and in their careers
“But as a defender, they say the prime is a bit later in the 20s and early 30s. I’m coming here not just to be an older head and a bit of experience but definitely in a good spot in my career. I’m ready to kick on and play as many games as I can.”
Before his departure, the 27-year-old had made 162 appearances for Arsenal. Once a Gooner, always a gooner, hopefully, he reinvents himself as he hopes to and plays regularly.
Gooners will find pleasure in him thriving I am sure.