What does the future hold for Rob Holding at Arsenal?

Just over a year ago, in November 2018, Rob Holding was in great form for Arsenal and was even talking about getting an England call up. “I think this is my best run in an Arsenal shirt,” Holding said in the Standard. “Consistency-wise, it’s been 12 games consistently playing to a good level, not playing because someone is injured but on merit. That gives you more confidence.

“Gareth Southgate has brought a refreshed feeling to England with a lot of young lads. If you’re playing well in the Premier League week in, week out, as we saw with Callum Wilson and Lewis Dunk, you’re going to get chances.

“You want to be a part of what they are creating at the moment. Obviously what they did at the World Cup and there is the Euros in over a year’s time. It’s a great time to be involved with England so why wouldn’t you want to be.”

Then, just two weeks later, the curse struck and he went down with an injury that knocked him out cold for almost a year.

Since then, Arsenal have turned to the likes of Sokratis, Chambers and David Luiz in central defence. They have also brought in Pablo Mari and William Saliba. Holding has been nudged down the pecking order behind Luiz, Chambers (when fit) and William Saliba prospectively.

While this is still a situation the 23-year-old can look at without fear, Arsenal are being strongly linked to Dayot Upamencano of Leipzig. If the transfer were to go through, this would be devastating news for Holding. Banning injuries, Holding could find himself behind 4 players in Luiz, Saliba, Upamencano and Chambers by June.
If his ambitions are to establish himself as a starting defender for Arsenal, then he must start staking a claim for it right now and right here.

Will he ever reach those heights again?

Agboola Israel

24 Comments

  1. Bruno says:

    Dude was just on form before his injury , he’s not special. If he really wants to salvage his career, he should go on loan to a mid table team and prove himself there

    1. GB says:

      He’s a good player and you are suggesting he goes on loan to a team above us as we are presently lower than mid table! 🤔

  2. A.C says:

    The good thing is he showed what he is capable of just before injury

    The bad part is he had a long term injury and we can only pray it wont affect him fulfilling his potential

    For now and next season he will have the patience of the management and the fans to turn his form around

    Its up to him and how he is managed… talent is there though

  3. Mogunna says:

    The CB picking order should start with Holding & Chambers, then Mustafi. Last option should be Sokratis & Luiz, not first choice. Luiz can be used as a DM, alone as we should be playing and not with 2DMs which has us defend and under pressure to end up with a lucky undeserved draw.

    Any youmg talented player needs to play in order to grow and progress, reach full potential.

    Holding was eyed as one of top CB talent, many team tried to sign him when he picked Arsenal. He needs to play every week again.

  4. Javi says:

    No one’s talking about Dino Mavropanos, but soon he’ll be the first pairing with Saliba. I doubt we’ll go for Upemanco.

    Luiz, Mustafi, Sokratis will soon be gone leaving Dino, Saliba, Mari, Holding and Chambers.

    1. Whamio says:

      Based on what I’ve seen so far under Arteta. I’d say our best pairing is Luiz & Mustafi at the moment.They both offer the ability to pick out passes which is what Arteta seems to value in defenders as we saw against newcastle.
      Sokratis is probably 3rd choice with 4th choice still open since chambers got injured. Mari is a question mark at this time until he plays to see if he is good enough to be considered.
      In the few games that Holding has played under arteta he has been awful going forward in regards to his passing.
      He is still young so that can be corrected. He might get a chance with Mari in the Euro game against Olympiacos.

  5. Grandad says:

    Bruno, we are a mid table team!But you are right in that he needs regular games to become match fit.

  6. Philleb says:

    Grandad you are so cold but i agree with you

  7. Mogunna says:

    Arteta must stop his ridiculous formation and play young players instead to stick with same losing drawing formation.

    Leno
    Bellerin Mustafi Holding Kolas
    Luiz/Gendouzi
    NilesNelson. Willock
    Pepe. Auba/Laca Saka/Marti

    We have plenty of options, Ozil, Xhaka, Torreira and that awful CB pair SokraLuiz should not be ahead of Niles Willock Gendouzi, Holding…

    Then, he must make sense in his choice, we all love Martinelli but Saka is simply our best winger, he outshined and outplayed Pepe by far and better option as a winger than Auba who is not one.

    In that sense, .first choice as winger is and should be Saka. Not Martinelli or Auba!

    We have some amazing talents who must play each week in order to reach their full potential.

    Best pure wingers in EPL are Traore who is on top; then Zaha, Pepe but we can clearly see Saka threat both today.

    I won’t be surprised to see big clubs lining up for likes of Niles, Saka, Willock, Nelson, Martinelli.

    It was a big mistake to bring back Nelson from Germany half season loan
    He was eyed as emulating his boy Sancho. Buzz fromhis progression had us bring him right back. He should have clearly stayed, playing every week in a top league allows young players to grow, fulfill potential! It is no miracle or other way!

  8. Philleb says:

    Mogunna…. The way I rate your vision about football is as low as guendouzi and emery. Plus nelson was a full season loan…. Don’t come here and be annalysing trash again

    1. Jeremiah Emmanuel says:

      Mogunna got me confused! Cos i knew Nelson spent a full season on loan.

    2. Tony says:

      Lols..😅

  9. American Gunner Fan says:

    It takes time to recover from an ACL injury. It can take up to 18 months after surgery to be fully fit… and that’s not taking into account how long it may take for the athlete, psychologically, to trust the knee again.

    With all of the different competitions and injuries that occur, Arsenal needs to have a solid rotation at the centerback position, not just this year but next. With Chambers out likely until next January or even later, Holding still would have an important role in a versatile, rebuilt centerback rotation, even if the club were to get Upamecano.

    Consider this possibility: Sokratis (is he out of contract at the end of this season?), leaves or is sold; Mustafi will be sold; Upamecano is brought in to form the nucleus of the centerback group with Saliba, Mari and Holding, while Chambers recovers. Luiz still has a year left on his contact and serves as insurance. Mavropanos can either be the active fifth centerback or be sold to help finance the purchase of Upamecano.

    To those who would argue that this would be too many centerbacks for the club to carry, I would simply point out that Holding, Chambers, Saliba, and Mavropanos have all missed significant time due to injuries in the last 18 months and even Upamecano has missed a few matches during that time. That being the case, quality depth at the position is not a luxury, but a necessity.

  10. RSH says:

    honestly, likely to become an injury prone player and nothing more than a squad player over the years. Another transfer that hasn’t amounted to much after a promsing start. I know people will say he is young and whatnot, but we’ve seen this pattern at Arsenal so many times already. He’ll do as an okay backup player. Better than the deadwood we have in this position.

  11. GB says:

    The future holds good things for him.

  12. Innit says:

    I like Holding very much. He’s very useful and we got him at a bargain price I think. He’s a good defender. I rate him higher than Chambers who we paid 3 times more for. Unfortunately he’s been getting injured too often

    Anyway, hope he has many years with us.

  13. A J says:

    Be prepared to be very pleasantly surprised by Pablo Mari !

    1. Ayo says:

      I am mildly surprised there is no mention of him the article. I think the guy will slot into that defence easily.

  14. AndersS says:

    Bad luck with his injuries.
    But I don’t think he has shown anything that promises he is star CB.
    We need much better than Holding and Chambers, if we are to compete for the title in the future.

    1. A J says:

      Great comment AndersS , spot on.

      In my humble opinion also applies to other key positions in the side, and indeed squad.

      I hate to say it, but yet another “nearly man” .

      I await the summer with more than interest.

  15. Reggie says:

    He needs to be fit long enough to actually play, which so far he has failed at.

  16. ozziegunner says:

    Rob Holding is only 23, which is young for a CB. He has also lost 12 months due to his injury and has obviously demonstrated the hard work and commitment to get back to playing fitness. This is what Arsenal should want; players prepared to fight hard for selection and competition for positions within the team.
    Don’t write Rob Holding off prematurely.

  17. Kedrick Mulenga Mwape says:

    We need to rebuild the team, all injury prone players should be shown the way out.
    Some players will never reach their full potential but only prevent the club from getting players who will probably take us to the next level.
    We dont need the gibbs, wilshere, Walcot type of players who showed promise but never lived to their full potential.

  18. Kedrick Mulenga Mwape says:

    We are struggling this term because of the collective decisions the club make during transfer.
    At Arsenal its always frustrating, we just don’t go for the kill, we couldn’t sign L. SUAREZ on a cheap. The guy has banged goals for Barcelona.
    we always make late signings, splash cash on over priced/ over rated players, buy already injured players.

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