Keown - Holding has been quite remarkable

Eighteen appearances, 15 wins, eight clean sheets.

Rob Holding impressed many during a very encouraging first season with us, earning praise from pundits, team-mates and his manager alike after a string of composed performances. One legendary former centre half was particularly taken with the England Under-21 stars displays.

“He’s been quite remarkable,” Martin Keown told Arsenal Player. “He’s very understated, very good in possession. He’s calm, never panics and you never really see him beaten for pace. 

“He’s unruffled and in the cup final, to come into a game of that magnitude… I don’t think he’d ever even visited Wembley before the semi-final. He’s going along nicely. 

“He needs to come back well. He’s been away with the under-21s, where he was on the bench as well, which will feel strange for him. 

“He needs to keep himself right, have a break of a couple of weeks but no longer, because he’s fighting for his place. That’s the way he’s got to look at it. 

“Possession is nine tenths of the law and that’s the way he needs to look at it, like ‘I’m in the team and I’m going to stay in the team’. He’ll want that assurance. The manager needs to show belief in him. 

“It’s going to be a tricky one for Arsène Wenger and it will be maybe what he sees in training. [Holding] will come back slightly later than everyone else. Maybe I would come back and cut short my holiday. 

“I wouldn’t want to be behind in the queue and it could come down to whoever starts, because this Arsenal team is going to start well and they’re going to win matches. It’s going to be difficult to get back in.”

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