Mikel Arteta told BT Sport that Rob Holding is ‘not going anywhere’ this summer.
Holding’s Arsenal future had looked uncertain following the arrivals of Pablo Mari and Gabriel Magalhaes. However, he started the Gunners’ opening day victory over Fulham and put in an assured performance, suggesting he remains a part of Arteta’s plans for the season.
A loan move away to Newcastle United had appeared likely at one stage. Now, however, the Arsenal manager appears to have quashed any talk of a temporary exit for the 24-year-old and wants him to remain at the club this season and beyond.
Mikel Arteta Confirms Rob Holding Will Stay at Arsenal
Plenty of Defensive Options Moving Forward
Once Arsenal finally completed the long-awaited transfer of Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille, the Brazilian defender became the eighth centre-back at Arteta’s disposal.
As a result, there was speculation that Holding would either lose his place in the side or be shipped out on loan. The former Bolton Wanderers defender completed the full 90 minutes against Fulham on the opening day, suggesting he has earned the long-term trust of his manager.
Arteta now looks to have confirmed that the player will be staying in North London, addressing the issue when speaking to the media after the match.
“I said change your mind because you’re not going anywhere,” the Spanish manager told the cameras of his conversations with Holding regarding his future.
Holding had been open to a move to Newcastle earlier in the window, but looks almost certain to stay at Arsenal.
Defensive Solidity Evident in Win Over Fulham
New singings were key to the Gunners’ opening day victory at Craven Cottage. Gabriel scored on his Premier League debut, while former Chelsea winger Willian had a hand in all three goals. Alexandre Lacazette opened the scoring, with Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also on target.
As well as being pleased with their team’s attacking talent, Gunners fans were also impressed with how comfortable their side looked whilst defending a lead away from home. Doing so has not been easy for the club of late, but Mikel Arteta is slowly ensuring more defensive stability.
Holding was crucial to that stability, and will be pleased with his performance now that his future looks secure.