Arsenal have signed central defender Rob Holding from Bolton Wanderers for a fee believed to be in the region of 2 million pounds, as confirmed by the Official Website of Arsenal.
Rob Holding, who was Bolton’s Player of the Season 2015-16, is Arsene Wenger’s third signing of the window after Granit Xhaka and Takuma Asano.
Having made his senior debut only in August 2015, he made 29 appearances for the Trotters in what was a disappointing season for the club. They finished bottom of the Championship thereby getting relegated to third tier of English football.
Holding clearly stood out among his underperforming teammates, winning the Player of the Season award and interested a few Premier League clubs as a consequence. Arsenal won the race eventually, notching him up for nearly 2.5 million pounds, after initially getting a 750,000 pounds bid rejected.
He now faces competition with Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker, Gabriel Paulista and Calum Chambers for a spot in the starting 11, due to which it will not be a surprise if he is sent out on loan.
However, that does not take anything away from his attraction towards the club.
“I’ve watched them on the TV mainly. I’ve never been down to London. They’ve always played nice football, they’ve got a reputation for playing nice football. That suits me and hopefully I can bring what I do.”
“It’s definitely the style of football — the way they pass it, those sharp one-twos around the box.”
“There’s massive competition here and it will only improve me,”
“It will push me to new boundaries and hopefully I can prove my worth.”
Holding, like Chambers, can also play at right back. Arsenal do have options for a back-up to Bellerin in case Mathieu Debuchy leaves.
Considering that both Koscielny and Mertesacker are above 30, the future of Arsenal as far as the heart of defense is concerned is likely to up for grabs for Gabriel and Holding, and Chambers too if Wenger has faith on him.
Holding will wear the number 16 at Arsenal, which was left vacant by Aaron Ramsey after he took over the vacated number 8 post the departure of Mikel Arteta.