Despite Lee Charnley’s excellent work this summer in securing Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser, Jeff Hendrick and Jamal Lewis, it seems like he might have to abandon one specific target in Arsenal’s Rob Holding.
The Magpies and the Gunners were reportedly in talks over a loan deal for the ex-Bolton man. However, a lot has changed since that story broke shortly after the north Londoners’ Community Shield win over Liverpool.
Holding started that game at Wembley, and also started Arsenal’s Premier League opener against Fulham.
In both outings, he was superb. Specifically, he could be seen juggling the ball up the pitch in a fashion similar to Thierry Henry, clearly enjoying himself as Alexandre Lacazette also grinned at the flamboyancy.
Ok @RobHolding95 express yourself! 🔥
Shades of Thierry Henry about this from the Arsenal centre-back, now give him a pair of gloves and roll those socks up 😜 pic.twitter.com/Y8Wh5Rqcpf
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) September 12, 2020
After their 3-0 win at Craven Cottage, Mikel Arteta was pretty blunt on the situation. The Spaniard told BT Sport that Holding is ‘not going anywhere’ and said the centre-back ‘stands for every value we want at the football club’.
‘I said to him, change your mind because you are not going anywhere. Rob is another one where he stands for every value we want at the football club. He pursued his dream of playing for this club, you are already playing, what else do you want?’
With this in mind, we may have to move on. It seems like Arteta is in love with Holding and has no plans to let him go, so Charnley must turn his attentions to another centre-back target. If we have one, that is.
Steve Bruce already has Jamaal Lascelles, Fabian Schar, Federico Fernandez, Ciaran Clark and Paul Dummett, but following Florian Lejeune’s exit on loan, perhaps another option wouldn’t go amiss – especially given Schar and Lascelles’ injury issues of late.
As Holding continues to light up north London, we should really begin to look elsewhere.