Thursday, January 21, 2021

Arsenal reward Holding with long-term contract

SoccerNews in English Premier League 12 Jan 2021

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Rob Holding has signed a new contract at Arsenal running until June 2024, the Premier League club have confirmed.

The centre-back’s terms contain the option to extend for another year and his new deal is a reward for overcoming injury to establish himself as a first-team fixture under Mikel Arteta.

Holding suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament against Manchester United in December 2018 but returned to the fray last season to lift his second FA Cup in Arsenal colours.

The 25-year-old has made 16 appearances so far in 2020-21, taking him to 96 overall for the Gunners, who he joined from Bolton Wanderers in July 2016.

“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,” Arteta told Arsenal’s official website.

“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.”

Holding the opposition at bay

Holding has certainly led by example on the field for an Arsenal side not always noted for their defensive resolve.

His 58 clearances in the Premier League this season are comfortably the best return in the squad as Kieran Tierney comes in next on 42.

In terms of headed clearances, Holding’s 40 are nearly double the next best overall from fellow centre-back Gabriel (23).

Holding ranks second among his team-mates for tackles (20, behind Dani Ceballos on 25) and blocks (10, behind Gabriel on 12).

He has also made 14 interceptions (joint fifth) and won possession on 72 occasions (joint third) and is yet to make an error leading to either a goal or a shot.

In other good news for Arteta, Gabriel Martinelli is set to resume full training in the coming days as Crystal Palace prepare to visit Emirates Stadium in the Premier League on Thursday.

Martinelli withdraw from the FA Cup win over Newcastle United last weekend after turning his ankle during the warm-up.

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