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…