Will Arsenal signing Mustafi hamper Holding´s progress?

There is a growing appreciation among Arsenal fans and the football world in general for the quality of the summer signing from Bolton Wanderers Rob Holding. After an impressive pre-season he was thrown into the deep end for the Premier League opener against Liverpool because of the injury crisis and has kept his place since then.

He helped us to a much needed clean sheet against Leicester City last weekend, impressing the Gunners best defender Laurent Koscielny along the way and he stood up well again in the away win over Watford this weekend, showing a cool head and good technical ability to go with his defensive strengths.

Just like Calum Chambers, the player he has overtaken in the Arsenal team, Holding needs regular game time to hone his skills and become the best player he can be. My concern is that he is not going to get this time once the transfer deal to bring Shkodran Mustafi to the club from Valencia is done.

Of course we needed to sign a new centre back and we all wanted it to be a good one, but if Mustafi turns out to be of top quality then how is Holding going to gain the experience he needs? Man City’s new signing from Everton John Stones got the regular football that helped him become such a prospect but will Holding get it at Arsenal?

If not do you think he will join Chambers on loan once Gabriel is back from his injury lay-off?


Tags Chambers Gabriel


    1. I still dream of 3 players to arsenal but not for this transfer window! maybe for future
      Jonathan Tah
      Will Hughes
      Oliver Burke
      At least we must sign Burke n loan him bak… TBH am following his growth since last year. he would be a amazing investment.

      1. Burke will not come cheap, many clubs behind him. I dont see us doing big business this summer again, may be some kid who can be bought cheap and can grow, but that too looks mirage

  1. Although Holding shows a lot of potential, that cannot mean that we should invest efforts now into developing him now when we have defensive frailties. Mustafi would no doubt cement a place in the cb position but Koscielny is not getting any younger and Holding is his potential replacement. He’ll get some runs in the defense, we just have to hope he doesn’t lose form like Chambers did. I think in a few years it will be Holding and Mustafi in CB.

  2. Don’t worry about Holding, he’ll get games. I still wonder why Bolton left him go cheaply. Okay, £3M is not cheap by any means but you get my drift 🙂

  3. Yes Holding may be hampered slightly in his progress but should still get plenty of games and not be sent out on loan unless it’s to play regular in the Premier League. I believe there will be a point in the season when Kos will need a rest and Holding may be the best option in that position along side Mustafi. Gabriel has been hit and miss and Per may not be ready for a very long time and may not even get a chance if the others do well.

  4. Seeing how much of the high balls he won, it might be worthwhile to have him upfront for comers and free kicks. He might have some goals in him. He looked solid the last 2 games and could be Wengers best business in years. We should also consider keeping one of our academy strikers to learn from the first team. I really love that boy Rashford! What a player he is. Really sucks he plays for United.

  5. Lets not get of ourselves and place any unnecessary pressure on the lad.. holding is a good 3rd or 4th cb to have in a title chasing team, but he’s not ready to partner koscielny as first choice pairing because he’s not at that level just yet and is still inexperience.
    He looked good in the last two games but that was only because koscielny was with him to guide n be a extra shield for him.. the game against Liverpool where he was virtually on his own when paired with another rookie in chambers is a stark reminder that he’s not quite ready to face top class opposition just yet.

    In a few years time he’ll be better than stones if he continues to progress well, and with koscielny and mertasacker at the club he couldn’t ask for better mentors and dont forget steve bould as well.

  6. Got to say – forget the price tag (or lack of) Holding looks assured at this level – which is very impressive after such a step up

    We now have a full, capable and deep CB situation (when all fit) –

    Not been able to say that for a very LOOOOOONG time

  7. I am delighted we have Holding, Kos and Mustafi. Good and healthy competition is all we need. Holding will definitely start some games. Kos ain’t getting younger either. This could probably be Mertsacker last season. More like a bit part role. We still have Gabriel who I think will come better..

    Holding didn’t cost much but you can see he has potential and he enjoys playing along side an experience CB Boss Koscienly

  8. The Holding Mustafi situation is bitter-sweet for me. Cos i really rate Holding. He would obviously get less game time. But there would be competition for places. Three or four good Centre Halves. That’s how its supposed be, Arsenal are a top club. What about UCL? Won’t u prefer Kos/Mustafi to Kos/Holding against a Real Madrid or a Barcelona? He would get some games. I pray we go far in FA Cup and Capital One Cup cos IMO he should start the FA and Capital One Cup games

  9. holding like many other players will have the chance to play many games,we all know it,s a long season so between players,s injuries,fatigue,loss of form,league games ,cup games,cl games,we need a fully fit squad,by the way our bench didn,t look too shabby yesterday!!

  10. Send Mustafi back…. Wenger gets to keep his £35 million. See win-win ?
    Anyways I think Holding would get a chance. The guy is quality. Has all the right stuff to be a worldie. It’s chambers we should be worried about. Where does he fit in? CB? Covered, DM? Covered, RB?… I bet Montero would like that

    1. It will be too soon for Holding to be the first choice CB now, especially in Champions League. Our first choice CB pair Kos and Per are not getting younger. Holding and Mustafi will be our centre back pair for years to come.

        1. Hehe, sorry I didn’t get that. But hey, knowing Wenger, I won’t be surprised to see him pull the plug so late in the deal, especially as Valencia held him to ransom. Waiting to see the news at the official website

  11. If i remember correctly when Chambers first came to Arsenal and played the first 10 games early in the season everybody thought he was a great player,but not so much now .So lets see what Holding is like after 10 or so games rather than 2 before we start to get carried away

    1. But Bailey is being touted as the best CB after 4 games in Man United shirt. What is wrong with Arsenal fans praising one of their own? Chambers always did well when paired against Per, so its not like he has gone downhill, its only that he needs experience around around to perform well. On the other hand Holding looks naturally mature, and I will not even blame him for any of the goals we conceded against Liverpool. Our midfield was being overrun so not much any CB would do when faced with two extra bodies in the box, with no extra Arsenal players coming in to help in defence.

      People who say our future CB partnering is Holding-Mustafi, forget how good Beilik is. That he is lower down the packing order is because of his age. From the preseason matches I watched him play, he could easily overtake Holding, Chambers, and Gabriel, if given game time. Two seasons from now it will be a fight between Holding, Mustafi, and Bielik for the two CB positions, unless we play three at the back.

      The Mustafi purchase was induced by injuries to Per and Gabriel, because the manager already knew how good Holding is. While Kos and Holding can successfully partner one another this season, the problem comes when Kos gets injured before Per or Gab returns. Suddenly we will be short of experience at CB. This makes the Mustafi purchase worth a while. The purchase may force Gab out of the club in the medium to long term but he will not go for free considering his age. His fee could be enough to recoup the investment made on Mustafi. So overall the Mustafi deal is best for Arsenal.

      I hope those that say Holding is too inexperienced to play week in week out for Arsenal are not the same who wanted us to get a young Verane on loan from Real Madrid. Quality is quality notwithstanding age.

  12. I don’t think Holding will lose that much game time when you consider that Mustafi can also play RB. He will probably fill in for Bellerin from time to time when Bellerin needs rest or if he gets injured. Then there is the capital one cup and FA cup where Holding will probably play along side Koscielny to give Mustafi a break as he will probably play most of the Premier league and Champions league matches.

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