Sky Sports pundit praises Arsenal star after 2-0 win over Southampton

Alan Smith is hoping that Rob Holding can kick on after his man of the match display for Arsenal at Southampton

Mikel Arteta (Photo: Arsenal Media / Screengrab)
Mikel Arteta (Photo: Arsenal Media / Screengrab)

Alan Smith believes that Rob Holding has what it takes to become a top defender in the Arsenal team in the coming seasons after he was named as the man of the match in the 2-0 win over Southampton on Thursday night.

Holding started alongside Shkodran Mustafi at St Mary’s and the pair produced a solid display to keep the home side at bay.

Arsenal took the lead in the 20th minute when Eddie Nketiah took advantage of an error from Alex McCarthy and fired home from close range.

Joe Willock then made the points secure when he scored in the 87th minute at St Mary’s to wrap up a much-needed victory for the north London side.

Former Arsenal star Smith was impressed by Holding’s assured performance and he is hoping that the defender will now be able to get a run in the first team and establish himself as a regular fixture in Mikel Arteta’s side.

Speaking after having named Holding as his man of the match, Smith told Sky Sports: “It is nice to give the [man of the match] award to a defender given Arsenal’s track record in that department.

“I do think there’s a player in Rob Holding if he can get a good run free from injuries.

“He’s been so steady today next to Mustafi – they’ve been a decent combination.”

The 24-year-old Holding has struggled with injury issues in recent seasons and Thursday marked just his third Premier League start of the current campaign.

Holding has scored one goal in a total of 11 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal this season.

He will be hoping to feature when Arsenal return to FA Cup action with a sixth-round clash against Sheffield United away from home on Sunday afternoon.

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