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Arsenal officially sign Rob Holding from Bolton Wanderers

The defender joins the Gunners for a reported fee of 2m

Arsenal sign Rob Holding
Rob Holding is officially an Arsenal player and will be a first-team player taking squad no. 16

Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Rob Holding from Bolton Wanderers. The 20-year-old was signed on a long-term contract for a fee believed to be approximately £2m.

The defender was also a target for AFC Bournemouth but the Gunners beat them to the signing. Holding becomes the north London club’s second signing after they completed the signing of Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach for a fee of £35m.

Holding made 30 appearances for Bolton in the 2015/16 season and also won the club’s Player of the Season award. He plays primarily as a centre-back but can also play as a full-back having played seven times as a right-back last season. 

The young defender also played for the England U-21 side and was part of the youth squad that won the Toulon Tournament this summer. 

The club also surprised fans by making the official announcement on social media with a ‘Guess who?’ quiz. After posting pictures of Gabriel and Joel Campbell with their faces hidden, the club posted a picture of Holding in the club’s new kit and fans were asked to guess who it was before they confirmed it.

“It's something you dream of as a kid,” Holding told the club’s official website. “I can't wait to get started.”

More: Rob Holding scout report

The Trotters also wished him luck on his new adventure and thanked him for his services to the club. 

Holding will slot into the first-team and could make his Gunners debut when the club take on the MLS All-Stars in a pre-season friendly in the United States of America. However, he will find it tough to break into the first team with competition from Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker, Gabriel Paulista and his U-21 teammate Calum Chambers. 

The club also left a cryptic message at the end of their announcement claiming, “We remain in the market, so stay close to Arsenal.com for any further transfer news.” The club have been linked with Italian Serie A strikers Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli) and Mauro Icardi (Inter Milan) while a deal in principle has been confirmed for Japanese 21-year-old forward Takuma Asano.

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