After their Premier League title challenge ended, Arsenal will be turning their attention to how to modify their squad for next season – with one potential casualty revealed.
Arsenal lost to Nottingham Forest on Saturday to bring an end to their chances of toppling Manchester City. If they are to put up a more sustained fight for honours next season, they might have to tweak their squad in the summer transfer window.
Naturally, some players will have to be sacrificed. Now, an update from Football Insider has named Rob Holding as someone who is up for sale this summer.
At 27 years of age, Holding should be in the prime of his career. He has only played in 14 Premier League matches this season, though – his gametime only increasing recently when William Saliba has been injured.
Mikel Arteta has preferred to use Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes as his centre-backs this season. He might also sign a right-back this summer to allow Benjamin White to shift back into the middle.
With Jakub Kiwior also at the Arsenal manager’s disposal following his January arrival from Spezia, Holding could fall further down the pecking order. Therefore, there is a growing sense that Arsenal will let go of him this summer.
It would also make sense because of the fact that his contract is due to expire at the end of next season, making this one of Arsenal’s last chances to sell him.
Where will Rob Holding go next?
The report does not mention which other clubs might be in contention to buy Holding, nor how much Arsenal might gain from such a transfer.
They might be able to make a profit on the £2m they spent to sign him from Bolton back in 2016, but probably not by much.
Holding will have to agree to any exit anyway, and a report last month suggested he is willing to simply see out the last year of his contract at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal will be hoping he can attract someone else willing to tempt him away if it means they can upgrade their own defence, though.
Holding could be one of several players to be cast aside by Arsenal in the coming months after their failure to win the title. There have also been strong claims that starting midfielder Granit Xhaka will be on his way back to the Bundesliga.
Other players who could leave include Kieran Tierney, Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith Rowe. In turn, Arteta will hope to find new players he can rely on.
Champions League football will finally be back at the Emirates Stadium next season, so Arsenal will need solid squad depth. That said, it doesn’t look like Holding will be a part of their plans.
During his whole Arsenal career, Holding has played in 162 matches, including 24 this season.
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