Rob Holding is expected to sign a new long-term deal with Arsenal before the end of the season, with Mikel Arteta impressed by the defender’s progress.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal speaks with Rob Holding of Arsenal following the Premier League match between Arsenal and West Ham United at Emirates Stadium on September 19, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Will Oliver - Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal speaks with Rob Holding of Arsenal following the Premier League match between Arsenal and West Ham United at Emirates Stadium on September 19, 2020. (Photo by Will Oliver – Pool/Getty Images)

Goal report that Rob Holding is expected to put pen to paper on a new long-term contract before the end of the season, reiterating recent claims from other sources that a fresh deal is close.

It’s not exactly surprising, given Mikel Arteta’s clear fondness for the 25-year-old, whose current contract expires in 2023. Holding has made 18 appearances in all competitions this season, featuring in each of them at least once and starting 13 of 17 league games.

Arteta says this is a direct result of Holding’s individual progress as a player.

“He had a period when he did not play and then he played against Leeds at home (in January 2020),” Arteta said. “When you compare how he has evolved from then to now, in a year’s time, it is incredible.

“It is down to him, how professional he is, how much he wants to learn, how much he puts into every training session and then his character, and his personality. He is growing in every aspect. I am really happy with him.

“It is what I see on a daily basis with him and the room that he still has for improvement at his age. I really like what I see and he has earned that right (to play) himself.”

Personally, I feel that Holding is still a bit hard done by when it comes to the Arsenal fanbase. For many weeks now, he’s put in strong performances, but he doesn’t seem to be getting much credit for it.

It’s also just a sensible business decision to extend Holding’s contract. Given his homegrown status, he isn’t blocking any new signings, and he’s a valuable asset to Arsenal if he’s performing well and on a long contract.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.