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Arsenal Holding defender reveals he was set to join Newcastle this summer

The 25-year-old has become a fixture for the Gunners in recent times, but he almost signed for the Magpies just a few months ago

Arsenal defender Rob Holding has revealed he was on the verge of a loan transfer to Newcastle this summer, before eventually staying in north London and establishing himself as a starter.

Holding signed a new three and a half year agreement until summer 2024 this week, a reward for a season in which the 25-year-old has become a staple in the Gunners’ roster.

However, his path to becoming a regular hasn’t always been clear, with the club having recently signed Gabriel Magalhaes, Pablo Mari and William Saliba in defense.

Holding thought he might have to go somewhere else to find regular minutes and, talking to The telegraph, he said a move to Magpies was almost completed just a few months ago.

“We signed two centerbacks over the summer and I was like, ‘Am I even going to be involved in this? Holding said. “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 decision for me, but in the week leading up to the 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 was the trust he put in me. “

Holding have started 13 Premier League appearances this season, including 10 of the last 11.

The Gunners have seen a resurgence in recent times after a rocky start, having won four straight games in all competitions.

This race puts the Gunners in 11th place in the standings as they prepare to face Crystal palace at Emirates Stadium on Thursday.

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