Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta urged not to sell Rob Holding this summer
Nigel Winterburn says Arsenal should keep hold of Rob Holding in the summer transfer window
Nigel Winterburn believes that Arsenal should keep hold of Rob Holding in the summer transfer window.
There could be a number of exits at The Emirates this summer as Mikel Arteta prepares to revamp his squad ahead of his first season in charge at the club.
Holding, 24, was hampered by injury troubles last season as he was limited to just 18 appearances in all competitions for the north London side.
Arsenal have William Saliba joining their squad this summer, and there could be further defensive additions ahead of Arteta’s first full campaign in charge.
Winterburn feels that the Gunners will likely have to offload some of their existing defenders this summer, but believes that Holding should be given a chance to prove himself and enjoy an injury-free run.
Speaking in an interview quoted by Metro, Winterburn said: “I think there’ll be more than one of them going, because Arsenal have got a host of centre-halves and it may come down to which players are going to be limited in appearances going forward.
“Age may come in to it too – all of those players will be looking at the situation and wondering how often they’re going to be playing and what their chances of being a first choice are.
“And if not, are they happy to sit on the bench and wait for opportunities? The one player out of the four that I think might be worth holding on to is Rob Holding.
“Up until his injury I would have said he was Arsenal’s most consistent defender, but he’s struggled to get back to full fitness and get that consistency back.
“I don’t know whether there’s a slight doubt that he’s going to ever get that consistency back, but before his injury he’s the one centre-half I felt was able to offer that.
“So it would be a bit of a surprise if Holding was to leave, but then you have to consider Arsenal’s financial situation.
“They might feel as though he’s the one they might be able to get the most money for, so in terms of the club trying to balance the books it might be a good option for them to sell.
“But with the amount of games Arsenal are going to be playing next season it makes sense to retain at least two of them.”
Arsenal finished in eighth place in the Premier League table last season after Arteta was brought in to replace Unai Emery back in December.
The north London side will get the new campaign under way with a Community Shield clash against Liverpool FC at Wembley this weekend.
The Gunners will then take on Fulham, West Ham, Liverpool FC, Sheffield United and Manchester City in their first five Premier League games of the new campaign.
Arsenal will compete in the Europa League next season thanks to their FA Cup final win over Chelsea FC at the start of August.