Rob Holding had gone almost two months without playing for the Arsenal first team, but when injury struck Shkodran Mustafi he was called into action as part of a back three against Boro last Monday.
The 20 year old, playing just his 12th game for Arsenal, was in action again on Sunday during the 2-1 win over Man City.
Thrust into action in a game of such importance, with circumstances the way they were, nobody would have blamed him for being nervous, but his display belied his relative inexperience, and afterwards the former Bolton man said he’d enjoyed his first ever visit to Wembley.
“It’s the first time I have ever been here!” he told the official site.
“I have never been there even as a fan, I was living in Manchester before so it was a bit of a trek down, so this was the first time. I loved it, I can’t wait for the final now – hopefully I’ll be involved.
|”It was a bit nerve racking at the start [of the match] with both sets of fans screaming, so it was a bit crazy but I settled down after a shaky first 10 minutes and it was all okay.”
Holding might even have been the hero before Alexis Sanchez scored the winner, heading just over from a corner in extra-time.
However, his overall performance was superb, and it looks as if the Gunners have a real prospect on their hands.