Tuesday 17 September 2019

Emery delight with Holding role

Arsenal manager Unai Emery. Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Arsenal manager Unai Emery. Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Sam Dean

Unai Emery said Arsenal's decision to keep Rob Holding at the club has been vindicated by the centre-back's impressive performances in their 16-game unbeaten run.

Holding, who has started 11 of Arsenal's last 13 matches in all competitions, considered leaving the club on loan this summer.

But Arsenal instead decided to allow Calum Chambers to join Fulham this season, allowing Holding an opportunity to impress following the arrival of Emery as head coach.

"In pre-season, every player had chances to show us how they play and little by little, with his work every day, I think Rob Holding is improving, he is taking confidence and with confidence he is at his best," Emery said.

"We decided for him to stay here and when he had chances, he played well and he helped us with big performances. Every match is a test, another test for Rob to do that."

Holding, 23, told Sky Sports that this has been his best run of form since joining Arsenal from Bolton Wanderers in 2016.

He is now hoping that he will be able to break into Gareth Southgate's England squad next year.

"Consistency-wise, it has been 12 games consistently playing to a good level, not playing because someone is injured but on merit," Holding said. "That gives you more confidence.

"Gareth Southgate has brought a refreshed feeling to England with a lot of young lads.

"If you are playing well in the Premier League week in, week out, as we saw with Callum Wilson and Lewis Dunk, you are going to get chances.

"You want to be part of what they are creating at the moment.

"Obviously what they did at the World Cup and there is the Euros in over a year's time. It's a great time to be involved with England so why wouldn't you want to be?"

(© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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