Arsenal news: Unai Emery impressed by Rob Holding’s fine run of form ahead of Bournemouth trip

The 23-year-old came close to leaving the club on loan in the summer

Arsenal 2018/19 Premier League profile

Unai Emery has praised centre-back Rob Holding for winning a place in Arsenal’s first-team after coming so close to leaving the club on loan in the summer.

Holding, 23, has impressed for Arsenal since handed his first league start of the season in a 2-0 win over Everton.

And Emery has praised Holding for remaining at the club and seizing his chance in the first-team when presented with the opportunity.

“I think in the pre-season, every player had chances to show us how they can play and little by little, with his work every day, I think Rob Holding is improving, he is taking confidence and with confidence he is at his best,” Emery said ahead of this weekend’s trip to Bournemouth.

“In the pre-season we also had Konstantinos Mavropanos, who is injured now, and we had also Chambers and we decided to let him go on loan to Fulham and we decided that Holding should stay here.

“But in the pre-season, every decision was looking at the matches with the players and finding the best performance in this moment. We decided with Holding for him to stay here and when he had chances, he played well and he helped us with big performances.

“Every match is a test, another test for Rob to do that.”

Holding meanwhile hopes that his impressive performances in the heart of Arsenal’s defence will soon lead to an England call-up.

The centre-back won five caps for England’s Under-21 team but is yet to be brought into Gareth Southgate’s senior set-up.

“I think this is my best run in an Arsenal shirt,” Holding told Sky Sports.

Rob Holding has been in fine form for Arsenal

“Consistency-wise, it's been 12 games consistently playing to a good level, not playing because someone is injured but on merit. That gives you more confidence.

“Gareth Southgate has brought a refreshed feeling to England with a lot of young lads. If you're playing well in the Premier League week in, week out, as we saw with Callum Wilson and Lewis Dunk, you're going to get chances.

“You want to be a part of what they are creating at the moment. Obviously what they did at the World Cup and there is the Euros in over a year's time. It's a great time to be involved with England so why wouldn't you want to be.”

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