Rob Holding a new long-term contract at Arsenal.
A whirlwind year in so many ways followed a similar trajectory for Rob Holding, who appeared mere moments away from leaving Arsenal for Newcastle on loan in the summer.
The details of that switch were all-but wrapped up, with his final game for the Gunners prior to making the move north due to be the Community Shield clash with Liverpool.
A fine individual display at Wembley helped Arsenal lift the (half) trophy, and Mikel Arteta pulled the plug on the deal at the eleventh hour. At the time it appeared to be a perfect move for all involved: Holding needed regular minutes to regain full fitness and Arsenal were well-stocked in central defence.
That u-turn was surprising. Having battled back from a long-term injury, Holding was some way off the form he’d shown before damaging his anterior cruciate ligament. He’d lost more pace, was poorer on the ball and got caught out positionally alarmingly often.
Turning a considerable corner in that respect, he’s nailed down a starting berth in the side and proved the most capable companion for new signing Gabriel Magalhaes, a role that was expected to be bestowed on David Luiz. Together their partnership has formed the basis of a vastly improved defensive record and Holding’s part in the Brazilian’s integration into the side can’t be understated.
With two full seasons left on his current deal, The Athletic report that Holding has signed a new long-term contract at Arsenal and ensured his future remains steadfastly in north London.
Is it the right call?