An Arsenal star playing a pivotal role in the ongoing campaign has revealed Mikel Arteta’s handling of the man who avoided his Newcastle loan exit this summer.
Arsenal have shown signs of recovery in recent weeks after a terrible start to the season.
Emile Smith Rowe breathed new life into their attacking game. Elsewhere, their defense recently landed back-to-back clean sheets in the league for the first time this season.
A key player throughout the campaign has been the once disadvantaged center-half Rob Holding.
The 25-year-old’s playing chances appeared limited after the permanent summer arrivals of Pablo Mari and Gabriel Magalhaes.
However, amid injuries and poor form elsewhere, Holding seized the opportunities presented to him with both hands.
The story could have been completely different Newcastle’s loan approach was accepted this summer.
This a potential move was avoided late by Arteta, with Holding recently detailing how it all went.
Arteta role revealed
He told the The telegraph of the day (via Goal): “We signed two middle halves over the summer and I was like, ‘Am I even going to be involved in this?'”
“At 25 I have to focus on the game. I spoke to the manager and said that there was a loan opportunity that had arisen, that I needed football.
“After my injury [a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in December 2018] I needed a year to play.
“Everything was okay, and the club thought it would be the best choice for me, but in the week leading up to Community Shield against Liverpool, [head coach Mikel Arteta] pulled me aside and said he wanted to check that I was focused for the weekend because I was needed.
“I told him that wherever I am I will always play my best and bet 100%.
“I played the game, we did well and we won, then on Monday he called me in his office.
“He said it didn’t make sense to let me go if my end goal was to play here. He said I was going to play, that it was my shirt to lose. It’s the trust he put in me.
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