Wenger: ‘Interesting’ Holding still has a long way to go


Arsene Wenger says Rob Holding is an ‘interesting prospect’ with ‘positive qualities’ but warned that the player has a long way to go to becoming a top star.

The 21-year-old defender has thrived since Arsenal turned to a 3-4-3 formation last month with his popularity on the terraces reaching new heights at Stoke on Saturday thanks to a robust challenge on Stoke City’s Marco Arnautovic that left the Austrian in an arm sling. Videos of a catchy chant comparing the ex-Bolton man with legendary Italian centre-back Fabio Cannavaro have since gone viral.

Videos of a catchy chant comparing the ex-Bolton man with legendary Italian centre-back Fabio Cannavaro have since gone viral.

Aware that supporters are quick to put players on a pedestal (and equally quick to knock them down again) the boss delivered a cautiously optimistic verdict on his summer signing’s debut season at the Emirates.

“The fans are always speedy but they know football and they can understand very quickly if the potential of a player is there,” Wenger told Arsenal Player. 

“From the potential to becoming a top star is a long way to go, and that is based on motivation, intelligence and desire, but I’m sure that Rob has the positive ingredients for that.

“He’s good in the air, calm on the ball, has a good reading of the game and I think he’s a very complete centre back who will have a good mixture of being a good defender and also very good on the ball.

“He still has to gain experience and the central role is a bit more of a decisive one, so I use him a bit more on the flank. He’s a very interesting prospect.”

Holding is likely to line up next to Shkodran Mustafi and Gabriel this evening with Laurent Koscielny taking a breather due to an ongoing Achilles problem.

Leave a Reply

15 Comments on "Wenger: ‘Interesting’ Holding still has a long way to go"

newest oldest most voted

I think he will be a top, top player. Fingers are crossed as I thought that about Senderos too (especially after the run in the CL).

Holding’s on for a hero.


Absolutely love your last line. That needs to be made into a chant.

Heavenly Chapecoense

I still think that about Sanogo. Yaya has something in the locker, he seems to have lost the key but the day he finds it, fans will be amazed.

Mate Kiddleton

Hopefully he can first learn to run in a straight line without tripping over his own legs

Bould\'s Eyeliner

We just see Sanogo as the tall gangly kid who got his locker vandalized and slinked away to class without his books. It seems he can only assert confidence in U21, where he has physicality on his side. Lost prospect if he didn’t physically build himself and his confidence in the almost three years he’s had now. Perhaps he will come good on his potential, but that’s never a guarantee.


Hope he becomes a legend. Seems to have his wits about him.

Laughing Stock of Football
Laughing Stock of Football

He’s got the potential to be an absolute giant for Arsenal, especially when he gets to work with a different manager. I just hope he doesn’t get “Chambersed” and forced to get torn a new hole out of position and having his confidence destroyed.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Chambers was as much impressive for 3 or 4 games in CB position, I remember.

Bould\'s Eyeliner

But Holding is more efficient on the ball–looks like a young Lolo…

Holding-Mustafi-Chambers back three sounds lovely when they grow into their roles as well.


Would like to see Holding and Chambers line up alongside each other next season. Obviously Kosc and Mustafi will be ahead in the pecking order, but when one needs a rest think they could be good together. Some real parallels between the way Holding has played lately and the way Chambers was when he had that run at CB in his first season i think.


That’s not a bad idea, but unlikely in a 3-4-3 formation. In a 4-2-3-1 in the Carabao Cup (yes, that’s what it’s called starting next year, unbelievable I know) or the Europa League, I think that would work very well.


It’s good that Wenger is toning down the hype and hopefully keeping Holding grounded. So many English talents play 3 good games, and the pressure is heaped on them immediately. Some of them start believing their own hype. Having said that, the initial signs are that he has all the things that will make him a mainstay of our CB position. Let him develop, learn from his mistakes, and fulfill the immense potential that he so obviously have.


obviously has*

Liam Bradys left peg

Give him games and he will be great. Having witnessed David spider O’learys career and Tony Adams ooh ooh being thrown in at the deepend as a teenager and enduring a few seasons of eee aaaw donkey chants then becoming captain of club and country, Mr Arsenal and a statue!! Experience, the earlier the better, is priceless.


Wenger bought excellent again…2m quid. NO David Dein only Dick Law.

That said, as mentioned it is important for people NOT to get over carried away.

…he made some mistakes leading to their handball (Stoke). He also did some good things.

People tend to have their favorites and see through tinted glasses…Jenkinson, Elneny to mention a couple.

They choose only to revel in stats that favour the player and ignore faults.

Holding is highly promising but he will have a learning curve.

Wenger was correct not to risk him when we were 4 at the back. Because we went 3 at the back (+2), it was less of a risk to cover for any mistakes through inexperience.