Rob Holding has revealed that his ACL injury brought him close to a number of rival players, one of whom ended up being his new teammate.
Holding spent eight months out recovering from surgery on his ACL, but he’s back in action with the first team at last. After some u23 outings, the centre-back made his first start for the club against Nottingham Forest, scoring and wearing the captain’s armband.
The defender then managed another 90 minutes against Standard Liege in midweek, and he looks to be on the right track to make a full recovery at the moment.
It wasn’t easy to get to this stage though, and Holding admitted this week that players from rival clubs helped him through it.
“David Luiz messaged me out of the blue and I was taken back by it,” Holding said.
“He just said that it happens and that I’ve got a great career ahead of me. He told me that I just need to focus and I’ll be all good, so I felt if he was doing that for me why I can’t I do that for someone else, because it may give them a little boost.
“I never played in the England Under-21s with Lewis Cook, but because we had the same injury at the same time and we had surgery on the same day, we’ve sort of kept in touch with each other.
“I remember when Sol Bamba for Cardiff did his injury too, so I also sent him a message. When you go through an injury like that and you’re out for nine or 10 months, football and rivalry is put aside and you’re just getting behind each other.”
Of course, Holding was lucky in one sense, that he had an Arsenal teammate going through the same thing for most of his rehabilitation.
The centre-back was a bit devastated when Hector Bellerin first picked up his injury, admitting that he was crying in the stands when it happened. In the end, though, the pair supported each other back to where they are now. If they had to get injured sometime, at least the timing worked out conveniently.