Connect in the back of the net

Arsenal have officially confirmed the signing of defender Rob Holding from Bolton Wanderers.

The 20-year old has penned an unspecified, long-term contract for a speculated transfer fee of £2 million.

Holding made a staggering 30 appearances for Wanderers last season, with his awareness, solid defensive displays and occasional goals earning him the club’s player of the year award.

The switch comes at a timely moment as the prodigy will get to rub shoulders and likewise hone his skills with the Premier League’s elite, away from his former club who were relegated into the third tier of English football after finishing bottom of the Championship.

Already a proven winner, Holding played an integral role as he- alongside fellow gooner Calum Chambers and Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek-inspired England’s Under-21 side to victory in the Toulon tournament held in France at the tail end of May.

The lads beat the hosts 2-1, making history by winning the competition for the first time in a whopping 22 years.

 

Early life

Born as Robert Samuel Holding on 20 September 1995 in Bolton, England, he spent a vast majority of his youthful career with his hometown club- Bolton Wanderers.

As of 2013, he had worked his way up the ranks to the point of making occasional appearances for the senior team.

 

Versatility

In quite an orthodox, Arsene Wenger fashion, Rob Holding is a natural center-back who can comfortably play as a fullback when called upon.

Being a utility player could come in handy given how Arsenal’s title charge is usually impeded by injuries year after year.

 

Possible Koscielny replacement?

There is an emerging breed of youngster gifted enough to compete at the highest stage without the slightest signs of stage fright: Marcus Rashford of Manchester United, Kelechi Iheanacho of Manchester City, and Hector Bellerin of Arsenal form top of the billing.

Under proper stewardship, Rob Holding could grown into the role and eventually become the long-term replacement for Laurent Koscielny.

 

Written by Brian Humphrey

Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum

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