England Under-21 international Rob ended his first season with the Gunners in superb form, earning a regular place in the heart of the defence and starring in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium.
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The composed centre half joined from Championship side Bolton Wanderers in the summer of 2016, and was straight into the first team for the opening game of the season against Liverpool.
He impressed in the next two games as well – the goalless draw at Leicester and win at Watford – but his appearances were then restricted to cup competitions until April, when he returned to Premier League action as part of a back three.
The formation certainly suited Holding’s style of play as his excellent anticipation, passing qualities and calmness in possession all came to the fore.
Arsenal won each of the last 12 games he played, including the cup final, when he dovetailed with Per Mertesacker and Nacho Monreal to minimise Chelsea’s threat. It’s been a steady rise to the top for the Manchester-born youngster, who made his first-team debut for childhood club Bolton Wanderers as a 19-year-old in 2015.
After being named Player of the Season for the Trotters in 2015/16, he helped England Under-21s win the Toulon Tournament (playing alongside Calum Chambers) and was back in action for the Three Lions in last summer’s European Under-21 Championship.