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Rob Holding - The best of Arsenal's summer signings?

Thursday 1st June 2017
No, it's not the supposed star striker Lucas Perez, it's not the apparent World Cup winner and it's not even the £35m Granit Xhaka. It's the next Tony Adams, Rob Holding. For just a minuscule fee of £2m, Rob Holding embodies everything great with Arsene Wenger's legacy, cheap quality signings.

Last year the youngster was scrapping in a Championship relegation battle, this year he's winning the FA Cup final against the Premier League champions. When all three of Arsenal's first choice centre-backs were deemed unavailable, Rob Holding boldly stepped up in the biggest game of his career thus far. It was a coming of age performance that allowed us to understand the true pedigree of the boy from Bolton.
Despite only starting nine Premier League games this season, Rob Holding has been a standout performer for Arsenal. The Englishman has impressed in every match he's played in, even though the media refused to recognise it at first.

So much so that Arsène Wenger had to come to his defence after the 2nd game of the season.

Rob Holding had an amazing display today but none of you are talking about that. I'm sorry he didn't cost £50m.”

And boy the was the boss right, not only is the 21-year old one of the buys of the season, Rob Holding now looks like one of the Frenchman's best ever signings.

In the league, Rob Holding has helped keep eight clean sheets in the nine games that he's played in, resulting in an 88% win ratio. On average, Holding made 1.4 tackles per game, 1.3 interceptions per game and 4.8 clearances per game. He's been influential and a rock at the back, resembling a young Tony Adams.

For the 21-year old to become a future legend at the club, there are certain aspects of his game he must improve on over the coming years;

Decision Making



As with all young players, decision making is the key element that separates the talented from the gifted. Some players can have all the talent in the world, but if they're not gifted with the wisdom to use it, they'll fail. Mario Balotelli is a prime example. On the few occasions, I've been able to analyse Rob Holding, I've noticed that at times he makes his decisions early and is not flexible enough to change them.

Take for example in the FA Cup final when Chelsea had one of their few chances. It was because Rob Holding allowed Diego Costa to muscle him out of the way to get a shot on goal. Holding had made his mind up, whilst the ball was in the air, that he was going to let it run for the keeper, a decision that didn't take into consideration the tenacity of Diego Costa. He must learn to adapt and adjust to live situations.

Reactions



Perhaps similar to his rigid decision making, Rob Holding is sometimes slow to react to situations. He can be taken unaware by unexpected movements, something that happens regularly in the Premier League. In one of his first pre-season games in the red & white shirt, Holding let the nimble Kun Agüero nip in front of him for a second, to score. Holding was seemingly in control of the situation but his lack of reactions allowed Agüero to capitalise. In the Premier League, football is played at lightning speed, for Holding to survive he must be first to react to changes as he doesn't have the pace to cover such a flaw.
Mathaeus Abuwa

Arsenal fan with ample amounts of passion for both Cristiano Ronaldo & Real Madrid. I'm one of those bandwagonist hipster fans that will claim to know everything about football, but only watches the El Clasico outside of the Premier League. Forgive me, I'm trying. Oh yeah, #WengerOut. 


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