The Gunners defender was considering leaving last summer but is now an integral part of the team
Arsenal Director Mikel Arteta believes his decision to block a Rob Holding move last summer has been justified.
Arsenal defender was close to joining Newcastle – who will be played by Arsenal on Saturday at FA cup Third Round – Only for Arteta to pull the plug on a potential loan deal.
Holding has made 18 appearances in all competitions this season and started 13 of the 17 league matches, including all of the last seven matches.
He has formed an excellent partnership alongside Pablo Marie in recent weeks, helping Arsenal secure two consecutive league clean sheets for the first time since the start of the campaign.
Arteta praised the 25-year-old for the way he has struggled to get back to his form since his comeback A knee injury he suffered against Manchester United, which kept him out of action for nearly 10 months.
“He had a period when he did not play and then he played against Leeds at home (the FA Cup match in January 2020),” said the Arsenal coach. “When you compare how it has evolved from then to now, in a year, it’s unbelievable.
“It’s up to him, how professional he is, how willing he is to learn, how much he puts into each training session, and then his personality and personality.”
Arteta added, “He is growing in every aspect. I am really happy with him.
It is true that he came to me in the summer because we had a lot of defenders and he wasn’t sure how many minutes he would get.
“We prevented him from going anywhere because we knew he would be an important player for us.”
Arteta was handed the captain’s armband in the absence of Pierre Emerick Aubameyang During the Arsenal Premier League match at Everton Before Christmas.
It was another indication of just how high his first rating was Bolton The defender, who is expected to put a pen to paper on a new long-term contract before the season ends.
“This is what I see daily with him and the room that he still has to improve in his life,” Arteta said.
“I really like what I see and he got that right himself.
“It is true that there were many other conditions for playing those many minutes because we had injuries, and we had other problems, but he got that right.
“Nobody can doubt that when he played, he was performing really well.”