Besiktas reportedly open talks with Arsenal for Rob Holding, Arsenal’s centre-back, raising questions about the defender’s future at the Emirates.

Rob Holding during an Arsenal training session (Photo via
Rob Holding during an Arsenal training session (Photo via

The recent injury to Arsenal’s new signing, Jurrien Timber, has caused some uncertainty around the team’s defensive line-up for the forthcoming season.

However,  L’Equipe’s Loic Tanzi hints that Rob Holding might be on the verge of an exit, something Holding himself seems to hint at in a recent Youtube interview (around 24 minutes in).

Tanzi reported via Twitter that the Turkish club Besiktas have started talks to potentially sign Holding, yet any specifics regarding negotiations remain elusive.

A brief journey back in time takes us to 2016 when Arsenal secured Holding from Bolton for €3m.

In the last seven years with the Gunners, the 27-year-old centre-back, despite showcasing his talent, hasn’t found a consistent spot in the starting XI.

However, it’s essential to acknowledge Holding’s contribution to the Arsenal team. During his time at the club, he’s made 162 appearances, and notably, during the 2020-21 season, he marked his presence in 30 Premier League matches, reflecting his best year with the club.

Rob Holding FA Cup final
Rob Holding FA Cup final

Holding has been linked with an Arsenal exit through the last few transfer windows but it does feel like it is only a matter of time before he leaves.

His contract expires next summer and there is no talk of an extension with the club still looking to clear out a number of players before the window shuts.

Arsenal recently confirmed that they agreed a deal that would see Alex Runarrson spend the final year of his contract on loan and a similar arrangement could be put in place here.

That would certainly suit Besiktas who, like most Turkish clubs, never have any more to pay a decent transfer fee.

Holding is currently valued at just €8m, which would make him Besiktas’s fourth most valuable player  behind Daniel Amartey (€12m), Gedson Fernandes (€12m), and Milot Rashica (€8.5m).

Besiktas have also never paid more than €8m for a player and that was in 2009.