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Arsenal Season Recap: Rob Holding


Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal - Premier League Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Rob Holding had a mostly fine season for Arsenal. The storyline of the year for him was the remarkable comeback. Yes, I’m talking about his hairline. He went from Bobby Balding to magnificently coiffed. Props to his hair restoration doctor.

Season Summary: Rob Holding made 9 Premier League starts this season, adding 6 substitute appearances. He made 5 appearances for the club in cup competitions as well.

You know what you’re going to get with Holding, and Arsenal got pretty much that. He’s going to play a solid, unspectacular game. He’s very strong in the air and won’t make many defensive errors, but he’s limited on the ball.

Season Grade: B

This grade is held down by the first half red card against Tottenham. It was Arsenal’s biggest game of the season and Holding, who should have known better as a veteran, naively got drawn into two quick yellow cards by Son Heung-Min. With 11 men all match, maybe the Gunners manage a draw and make the Champions League, but down a man, it was only going one way.

Other than that disastrous performance, Holding had a solid season. He established himself as The Closer, the guy Mikel Arteta brought on late in matches to shut things down and hold onto results. When called upon to start, again the Spurs match aside, Holding played well.

‘22-’23 Outlook: Holding is set to be the fourth (or fifth if Arsenal sign another LCB) centerback in the rotation this season. I expect he’ll play some of the Europa league and domestic cup matches, and he’ll probably keep his role as The Closer. He’s a fine depth player.

I don’t know why, but I’ve got a feeling that Holding could be a surprise departure later this transfer window. There haven’t been any transfer rumors, but something is telling me he could be on the way out. It just feels like he’s reached the ceiling of what he’s going to be at Arsenal, and that if he wants a bigger role, it will have to be elsewhere. Of course, he could be fine with his role at Arsenal, too. There are worse jobs in the world than to be at Arsenal, play only sporadically, and live in London. It’s pretty good work if you can get it.