Is holding on to Holding a great decision by Arsenal?

When I read last week that Rob Holding might be loaned to Newcastle but no option to buy, I felt it was a deal that worked for all parties. Newcastle get a quality defender; Holding gets to play every week and we get a centre back off our wage bill without selling him.

I don’t want Holding to be sold. I feel he’s young enough to be coached by his manager to be better and judging by reports, Arteta agrees.

The Spaniard has always stressed everyone has a fresh chance to impress him. Due to injury, Holding had to wait longer than most, but has had more good games than bad, and his body language when lifting the Community Shield wasn’t of a man who’s been told he’s surplus to requirements.

My hope is it’s a case of quantity over quality. No way would any coach form the opinion that Holding isn’t good enough while a David Luiz gets an extension on his contract.

What’s more realistic is Luiz’s experience on and of the pitch is seen as valuable for another 12 months, especially for young Saliba and Gabriel. Maybe this time next year Luiz won’t be needed and Holding gets more minutes.

So, any short-term switch would be for his development. Better to play every week then just wait for the odd tie. Yet assessing his options closer, Holding might be nearer the first team then some think.

In terms of form, why not carry on the momentum of Holding, Luiz and Tierney in a back three? Especially if you don’t want to throw Gabriel and Saliba in the deep end with their debuts being away from home.

Mustafi and Mari might not be fit until October or November so maybe it’s not until January that a a choice has to be made?

Not just do I think Holding will stay, I expect he will start at Fulham and help us to win…

Dan Smith


  1. Mavropanos has been forgotten even though he has impressed in Germany and will now be playing in the Bundesliga for Stuttgart (I believe).
    Except for injury (which Holding had as well) he has better potential, so while I have nothing against not selling Holding, I think if Mavro was British, there would be more articles about him being a potential long-term prospect. I mean, he’s faster, stronger, and better in the air than Holding plus at least as good (or mediocre) with the ball, so at least there’s a CHANCE he could one day be a starter while Holding will never be a regular starter for a top 6 club, he’s simply lacking in too many departments and for some of them it’s too late to develop noticeably now.

    1. Diogenes, you are correct in stating Mavropanos is “out of sight, out of mind”.
      An important player asset being forgotten about.

    2. Holding has the potential to become a great, he has one quality that cannot be coached, he knows how to get under the skin of opponents. He just need to release the ball quicker from defence and work on his passing

    3. We currently only have 4 fit CBs in the first team. Holding Saliba Gabriel and Sokratis. So I don’t think anyone is going anywhere in September, unless of course Arteta calls on Ballard and McGuiness or again uses Tierney and Kolasinac on the left of a three.

  2. A lot of clauses are considered when loaning out a player. Most of our players have not been having successful loan at EPL sides, so that might play a significant role in the turn of events.
    I seriously hope we loan him out to get constant play time, we might be without Luiz, sokratis, chambers and musti in a year, so his experience will really be if help.
    OT: I don’t think we need replacement for any of Bellerin, Martinez and Toreira, we have enough cover and the money should be use to fund our midfield targets and we are good tO go

  3. This isn’t rocket science… Holding is staying as he’s the only senior defender alongside David Luiz that’s not injured. (Luiz is also a doubt now, neck injury) Sokratis is very likely to leave.
    So it was clear Arteta would stop him from going on loan.
    If others were fit, he’d have been allowed to leave.
    You can’t just throw Gabriel and Saliva in like that.
    One of them will pair with Holding this Saturday

  4. It makes sense to hold on to him, David Luiz is injured and doubtful for the match against Fulham and could also be out for an extended period with a neck injury.

  5. Good article.
    However I just read that Luiz might be crocked so Holding will probably have to be in there from the start as perhaps
    MA won’t want to risk one/both of the new guys alongside Tierney.
    MA’s made more good decisions than bad so I’m hopeful. I’m very much looking forward to seeing our first teamsheet of the seaon come Saturday.
    Even if AMN’s not in it!

    1. Gunner Jack, intriguing to say the least.
      I don’t believe anyone will get his squad correct, let alone the first eleven.
      Quietly but surely MA has been putting together a group of talented players, who see his vision.
      Holding, not because he’s English (what a daft statement), but because he has shown MA what he can do.

        1. Really like what Holding did when standing up to that thug/striker Chelsea used to have. Can’t remember his name. Maybe he went to Atletico?
          However, what I do remember is Holding, far from being intimidated/overawed was smiling and laughing at him as if to say “Come on then – give it your best shot.”

          1. I remember that game too well. Holding scared the hell out of the then Chelsea striker now plying his trade for the Atleticos, whose name must not be mentioned, to the extent that he so looked visibly frightened just like rabbits stunned by brightened headlamps. I remember D. Cos looking staring at Holing with eyes eyes that said – “I beg you please let me go home to mama in one piece, please”. From that day, I realized Holding had a talent and I fell in love with him. I do hope MA keeps him too and grants him game time as well.

        2. Sell him we have to sell players to get the wage bill down but nobody wants to buy them they will take them on loan though

  6. We might see a 3 man CB of Tierney, Saliba, Holding.

    Aubameyang, Nketiah, Saka,

    Niles, Xhaka, Ceballos, Bellerin,

    Tierney, Holding, Saliba,


    My predicted line up for Saturday.

    1. Looks about right S.J. as Luiz is injured and a bit early for Gabriel. There could be a place in the team for Willian somewhere though.

    2. S.J., not having a crystal ball, I’ll think I’ll stay well out of the way in the predicted team lottery 🙂

  7. Being a confirmed pragmatist, it is clearthat MA wil do whatever he thinks best for Arsenal , bearing in mind existing injuries and other matters pertaining to who he picks.

    As one of the most fervent Gooner admirers of MA of all on here, I am extremely relaxed to leave this and other vital decisions in his capable hands, even though those same hands are tied, to an extent, by our dreadful owner.

    1. jon, MA’s hands are tied more by the incompetent Board and senior executive mismanaging Arsenal’s financial and player assets.

      1. ozziegunner, just as UE and AW were as well… it’s a never ending circle, but one I do believe MA will break, that or he will leave…. can you imagine the backlash if that happens.

        1. Thank you for your support Ken. As I have stated before my main criticism of Arsene Wenger was his public support of the Board and senior executive, when his available player funds were diminished. The final straw was the purchase of Petr Cech as the only signing and Wenger stating that there was no need for the transfer in of any outfield players.
          Arsenal’s situation now is that Arteta, like Emery and the rest of us, knows that the Arsenal midfield is deficient and that Thomas Partey will go some way towards addressing that. The question is will the Board assist Arteta? As you surmise, if they don’t what will Arteta’s actions be?

    2. Every manager tries to do what ever he thinks is best for the club he is managing, no one wants to loose their job deliberately. So comments don’t make sense. First you criticised Wenger for taking to much control of club even player recruitment now same thing with MA is fine with you, double standards. Most of the fans signing MAs name here turned against him when he lost few games after lockdown. Pretty sure same thing will happen again if we go through same patch. Same people who say we trust MA will start to blame him for having too much authority and bad signings.

      1. Mohsan,Totally juvenile, unthought through NONSENSE! Wenger was rightly criticised after two decades in the job with the team regressing eah season. MA has been in charge since Dec 2019 andwon silverware and transformed thr club. You must live on a different planet from me.

      2. Mohsan, I think you will find JF has been consistent with his views on both MA and AW – the ones who started shouting for Mikel Arteta’s head, have gone very quite.

        I think that, after learning about UE’s troubles not getting players he wanted, but having others bought above his head, the way forward is the one both AW and MA had/has – that way, there is no-one else to praise or blame.

  8. Sell him, we need to get rid of some squad players we have too many defenders now. Only defenders I would like to see at club are Saliba, Gabi, Mari and Mav for CB position. Thats 4 CBs but then we are unfortunately stuck with Luiz for another season as well that makes it 5. How many CBs do we need. The way Arsenal recruitment is been driven I am sure Luiz will be handed another one year extension next year if Edu is still at Arsenal plus may be we might reward William with 5 year deal as well.

    1. i think mustafi and sokratis is leaving. With one year extension, Luiz will be gone by 2022. so we need to hold on them

  9. We’ve got no option now really, have we?! Luiz added to the injury list… MA will want to take some experience to Craven Cottage… can’t just throw Gabriel and Saliba in the deep end together – new country, new league, new team… one of them will have to partner Holding…
    Not like us is it, to have an injury crisis?!!

  10. With the recent injury in the squad I see no reason to loan out Holding. At least, let Luiz come back from injury then MA will decide what to do with him because it’s clear he will warm bench a lot this season.

  11. If keeping Holding during this injury crisis means we can let Roma have Socratis then yes, it’s a great decision by Arsenal.

  12. Holding is one of our consistent CB .because of injury we don’t see what he has got.

    Holding has never disappointed us when we need him remember all the tough matches.
    He is not afraid to be dribbled like mustafi who always ran backwards into the 18 box where he knows he can’t make any strong tackles. He should always try as much as possible to met the opponent outside of the 18 box.If mustafi could work on that weakness he is a decent defender.

    I love CBs who can bully strikers.

  13. You guys underrate holding too much, during Emery first season, he was our best defender and he has assisted us to win fa cup against Chelsea twice even with the caliber of strikers/ attackers Chelsea has/ had, he never feel shy of standing against any opponents neither afraid of any attackers to dribble past him. All what he cares about is to contribute his best for the benefit of the team even with the small wage he is collecting…Mark of you castigating him, mark my word now, he will play more games than Luiz this season and he will be our integral part in our defence because Arsenal will use more of 343 this season and holding will always be there!!!!!

    1. Very well put Wale. Been here a while now and just unfortunate with injuries otherwise captain material IMO.

  14. People has suddenly forgotten about Holding. He’s quality and better than Mustafi and Papa. He was regular under UE but for that injury at Old Trafford that gave opportunity for Luiz to come in.

    Soon he’ll bget over his injury and display his true ability

  15. Holding is the kind of player we need for the future, I don’t know why I feel he has the HEART we need in our defense, every time he plays he tries to show his best. Although he made some mistakes but he it trying hard to improve his play for the team and I think under MA he will be better whenever he plays.

    I will say keep him, give him some more time and wait.

  16. Holding stays & starts, Papa goes.
    Mustafi in last year of his contract and will be sold in January when recovered or on a free next summer, Luiz is the experience Saliba & Gabriel need this season and he will probably be gone also in 2021 also.

    Mavraponas is out on loan for the season and can replace Mustafi when he leaves permanently next summer.

    We have Holding, Saliba, Gabriel & Mavraponas who are all young so the future is bright hopefully with these 4.

  17. OT- did anyone see the recent training video and the academy match released by Arsenal? Chambers is seemingly back to training, and some promising youth players on display too. Salah-Eddin and Lewis look good, while it seems Balogun won’t stay by his reaction.

  18. It’s a decision which is essential at the present time given the injuries to our other centre backs including Luis.That said the unloading of Socratis should not be delayed.

  19. We currently only have 4 fit CBs in the first team. Holding Saliba Gabriel and Sokratis. So I don’t think anyone is going anywhere in September, unless of course Arteta calls on Ballard and McGuiness or again uses Tierney and Kolasinac on the left of a three.

  20. Holding, Saliba, Gabriel, Chambers, Mustaphi, Papa. Luiz – 2 must go and the remaining 5 can battle it out for the back 3 positions.
    Then in the deep lying playmaker we have Guendouzi, Xhaka, Torreira, , Niles, Ceballos – 1 must go and the remaining 4 can fight it out for 2 positions.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs