Rob Holding details Mikel Arteta discussion that led to U-turn over his Arsenal status
Rob Holding has detailed the discussion he had with boss Mikel Arteta which led to the U-turn in his Arsenal career.
Despite signing for Arsenal in 2016, Holding has struggled to cement his place as a first-team regular.
The Gunners centre-back looked to be on his way out of the Emirates in the summer following the arrivals of Pablo Mari and Gabrial Magalhaes, and Holding himself thought his future at the club looked bleak.
“We signed two centre-halves over the summer and I was thinking, ‘am I even going to be involved in this?’” Holding told The Telegraph .
Newcastle were interested in taking him on loan, and the 25-year-old was keen to get back playing regularly after recovering from a cruciate knee ligament injury.
The deal between both clubs was agreed with Arsenal’s blessing, until a spate of injuries led Arteta to call on Holding’s services in the Community Shield.
“I told him that, wherever I am, I will always play my hardest and put 100 per cent in,” Holding said.
“I played the game, we did well and we won. And then on the Monday, he called me into his office.
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“He said it made no sense to let me go if my end goal was to play here. He was saying I was going to play, that it was my shirt to lose.
“That was the confidence he put in me. I had a chance then to prove myself, to say to myself: ‘right, if I am going to stay, I am going to play and I am going to try to be the best player.’”
Holding has been a key figure in Arteta’s side since, making 17 appearances already this season.
He has now been rewarded for this form with a new three-year contract, committing him to Arsenal until 2024 with the option of a further year.
Arteta praised his defender after the extension was announced.
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“Since I started as manager, I have been hugely impressed with Rob’s contribution to the club and the dressing room, on and off the pitch.
“The quality of his work every day on the training pitches is excellent and he is translating this into consistently high performances in matches.
“We all know Rob’s quality, which he has shown in his displays during the intense moments of those two FA Cup final victories.
“We are all very happy that Rob has signed a new contract, he is very popular with all the players and staff, and we’re looking forward to watching him continue to grow with us in the coming years.”