Rob Holding is seen by a great many fans as a future Arsenal captain and the mainstay of the Arsenal defence for years to come.
Rob Holding has however had a bumpy ride under Unai Emery, whom he couldn’t completely convince in his abilities and later suffered a knee injury which has curtailed his chances of playing a regular role in Mikel Arteta’s side. Secretly it was hoped that Holding’s recovery would help ease the burden on a much maligned defence that has simply run out of proven options.
However, Holding’s performance against Leeds in the FA Cup was evidence that he had not recovered sufficiently to fill the existing gaps and that he is probably three or four weeks away from being back to his best.
His touch was extremely poor, which is not entirely surprising and one suspects that Arteta had to toss a coin to see which of his defenders would take the field half an hour before kick off.
Arsenal will now have to hope and pray that nothing befalls their recognised centre backs Sokratis and Luiz. If anything untoward happens, then Arteta will have to draft in Mustafi, who many hoped would leave in the January window.
If anything, this highlights Arsenal’s major problem at the back and suggests that Arsenal need two centre backs immediately.
Defensively, the gunners have a collection of serious issues to contend with. Chambers is out for nine months, Bellerin and Tierney are constantly in and out of the side, Mavropanos has had little game time and Kolasinac is more of an attacking left back rather than one that will hold the fort not to mention the fact that Rob Holding hasn’t recovered completely.
There is a genuine need for some new additions in January and at the moment it’s looking more likely that the club that has made the worst loan deals in premiership history, is on the verge of having to make at least two more. That is unless there’s an opportunity elsewhere that they simply can’t refuse, which is unlikely in a winter window.
Dani Ceballos has briefly shown promise, but it looks as if his stay at the Emirates will be short on the evidence of what we’ve seen or not seen so far. Who can forget Dennis Suarez who managed six entire games or Kim Källström, who arrived injured and played a three games less.
Any deals will have to be done by the 31st of January and it’s going to be extremely difficult to bring in the necessary quality they require but Edu and Raul Sanllehi need to act to secure a decent end to the season.