Rob Holding’s New Deal Makes Total Sense
From pretty much every angle, handing Holding a new long-term contract is sensible.
Firstly, from an ability point of view, he’s the best right centre-back at the club. Starting the season out with a back three, having Holding on the right side of that trio suited the Gunners best as he’s the better one-on-one defender at the club.
To account for Hector Bellerin‘s attacking intent, the 25-year-old provided adequate cover in the case of the Spaniard’s forays forward. Even against world class opposition such as Sadio Mane, he stood firm.
In recent weeks, Arsenal have been forced to cling on for points late in matches, and in all of those occasions, Holding has demonstrated fine aerial stability. Pablo Mari is the defender seen to provide the best cover in the air, although Holding has offered equal measures of assurance in that department.
"According to a source at Arsenal, Holding has “put himself in a position for a new contract after working his way into the team”."
Confidence has been exempt from this squad for months, but it’s clear that as with the rest of the side, the Englishman is rediscovering his own. Various traits of his game are carried out with greater purpose than before.
Aside from talent, Arsenal need to eliminate uncertainty in the squad. For too long players have been able to run down their contracts for one reason or another, eventually leaving on free deals or for fees way below their market value.
Holding is 25, English – an increasingly important factor in a post-Brexit era – well-liked within the group and a dedicated professional. If his performances continue to improve, he could also garner a significant fee. It makes total sense to protect his value.