Arsenal rewards Holding with long-term contract

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Rob Holding has signed a new contract at Arsenal until June 2024, the Premier League club has confirmed.

The center-back’s terms contain the option to extend him for one more year and his new contract is a reward for overcoming the injury to establish himself as a first-team fixture with Mikel Arteta.

Holding suffered a torn ACL against Manchester United in December 2018, but returned to the fray last season to lift his second FA Cup in the Arsenal colors.

The 25-year-old has made 16 appearances so far in 2020-21, bringing it to 96 overall for the Gunners, whom he joined from Bolton Wanderers in July 2016.

“Since I started as a coach, I have been enormously impressed by Rob’s contribution to the club and to the dressing room, on and off the pitch,” Arteta told Arsenal’s official website.

“The quality of his work every day in the training fields is excellent and he is translating it into high performances in games.

“We all know the quality of Rob, which he has shown in his displays during the intense moments of those final two FA Cup victories.

“We are very happy that Rob has signed a new contract, he is very popular with all the players and the staff and we look forward to seeing him continue to grow with us in the years to come.”

Keeping the opposition at bay

Holding has certainly set an example on the field for an Arsenal team that doesn’t always stand out for its defensive determination.

His 58 clearances in the Premier League this season are comfortably the best comeback for the team, as Kieran Tierney comes next with 42.

In terms of header punts, Holding’s 40 are nearly twice the next best overall of his teammate central Gabriel (23).

Holding ranks second among his teammates in tackles (20, behind Dani Ceballos at 25) and blocks (10, behind Gabriel at 12).

He has also made 14 interceptions (joint fifth) and gained possession 72 times (joint third) and has yet to make a mistake leading to a goal or shot.

In other good news for Arteta, Gabriel Martinelli is set to resume full training in the coming days as Crystal Palace prepares to visit the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League on Thursday.

Martinelli pulls out of the FA Cup win over Newcastle United last weekend after spraining his ankle during warm-up.

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