Why the new contract for Rob Holding is a step in the right direction for Arsenal
According to BBC Sport, Rob Holding has signed a new three-year contract with Arsenal. The new deal will run until 2024. Holding has impressed everyone with his performances this season and has secured his place in Mikel Arteta’s XI. The former Bolton man has featured predominantly this season for the Gunners in defence.
Holding has come a long way at Arsenal
The 25-year-old has come back strongly in the ongoing campaign after an injury-ravaged 12 months in North London. Holding ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee back in December 2018 and spent more than 9 months on the sidelines before making a return in Arsenal’s EFL Cup tie against Nottingham Forest in September 2019.
Holding assumed a more significant role in the squad following the appointment of Unai Emery before having his progress thwarted by a long-term knee injury. He only started 6 league fixtures last season following his return from injury but has firmly established himself as a key cog at the back for Arsenal this term.
The Manchester-born star has already made 16 appearances in all competitions this season so far, starting 8 out of the club’s last 9 PL games. Holding has established a reliable pairing at the heart of the defence with summer signing Gabriel Magalhaes.
Offering a new contract was a step in the right direction
Arsenal offering Rob Holding a new deal was certainly a step in the right direction. Arteta has shown plenty of faith in the former England U-21 international, who was even handed the captain’s armband in the club’s 2-1 defeat against Everton.
Looking at the bigger picture, Arsenal are still very much in the process of restructuring their central defensive unit. The likes of Shkodran Mustafi and Calum Chambers are out of the mix after failing to live up to the expectations last season. Gabriel has proven himself to be an excellent addition to the backline, with the Brazilian nailing down a regular starting role.
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Rob Holding has been at the club for a pretty long time, and while his career has been blighted by injuries to some extent, Arsenal need to be aware of the fact that the centre-back still potentially has his best years ahead of him at 25.
The Englishman ticks plenty of boxes to evolve into an excellent long-term servant at the back for the Gunners in the coming seasons. Having said that, Arsenal tying him down to a new long-term contract was a shrewd piece of business.