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14-Jan-2021, 01:56 am

Arsenal defender Holding reveals he was on verge of joining Newcastle in the summer


Rob Holding Arsenal 2020-21

Arsenal defender Rob Holding has revealed he was on the verge of a loan move to Newcastle this summer, before eventually staying in north London and establishing himself as a starter.

However his path to becoming a regular wasn't always clear, with the club recently signing Gabriel Magalhaes, Pablo Mari and William Salibain defence.

Holding thought he may have to go elsewhere to find regular minutes and, speaking to The Telegraph, he said a move to the Magpies was near completion just months ago.

“We signed two centre-halves over the summer and I was thinking, ‘am I even going to be involved in this?’” Holding said. “At 25, I have to focus on playing. I spoke to the manager and said there was a loan opportunity that had come up, that I needed football. After my injury a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in December 2018 I needed a year to play.

“It was all agreed, and the club thought it would be the best move for me, but in the week before the Community Shield against Liverpool, head coach Mikel Artetapulled me aside and said he wanted to check that I was focused for the weekend because I was needed.

"I told him that, wherever I am, I will always play my hardest and put 100 per cent in.

“I played the game, we did well and we won, and then on the Monday, he called me into his office. He said it made no sense to let me go if my end goal was to play here. He was saying I was going to play, that it was my shirt to lose. That was the confidence he put in me."

Holding has gone on to start 13 Premier League matches this season, including 10 of the last 11.

The Gunners have enjoyed a resurgence of late after a difficult start, having won four games in a row in all competitions.


Source : goal.com

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