Mikel Arteta says he told Rob Holding he wasn’t going anywhere this summer, so he should change his mind and focus on Arsenal.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: Sadio Mane of Liverpool battles for possession with Rob Holding of Arsenal during the FA Community Shield final between Arsenal and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium on August 29, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Andrew Couldridge/Pool via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Sadio Mane of Liverpool battles for possession with Rob Holding on August 29, 2020. (Photo by Andrew Couldridge/Pool via Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta made the decision to keep Rob Holding over the last few weeks, despite speculation about a possible loan departure to Newcastle United.

Originally, the plan was for Holding to join up with Newcastle after the Community Shield. However, Arteta decided against it, choosing to keep the centre-back around for the coming season.

“I said to him ‘change your mind because you’re not going anywhere’,” Arteta said. “Rob is another who stands for every value we want at the football club.

“He had a really difficult time but he trained and why would I have to let him go? He’s already playing, what more do you want?”

I think it’s difficult to argue injuries didn’t play a part. Over the last couple of weeks, both Sokratis and David Luiz joined Shkodran Mustafi, Calum Chambers and Pablo Mari on the injury list.

That leaves Arsenal with three fit full-time centre-backs, Gabriel, William Saliba and Rob Holding. With Arteta easing Saliba in slowly, that number realistically drops to two. Kieran Tierney is filling in, but there clearly wasn’t much cover if Holding left.

Whatever the reason, it seems like they’ve made the decision now. Holding will remain at the club and continue starting for Arsenal in the immediate future.