Rob Holding signed a new contract with Arsenal this week and he celebrated it with another solid display against Crystal Palace.
The ex-Bolton Wanderers player was a £2 million purchase for the Gunners back in 2016.
He has suffered some rotten luck with injuries but under Mikel Arteta’s influence, he has come on leaps and bounds.
A new contract could be just the start of bigger things for Holding at Arsenal and even his previous critics are starting to take to him.
Last night he highlighted exactly why the Gunners were keen to tie him to a new deal.
During the game, he won no fewer than six aerial duels up against Christian Benteke.
That feat alone is pretty special but what makes it incredible is that it was more than the rest of Arsenal’s defence combined.
David Luiz, who partnered him at centre-back made two, Hector Bellerin one and Ainsley Maitland-Niles at left-back didn’t win a single aerial challenge.
Holding is only 25 and the hope will be that Arsenal have now tied him down ahead of his best years.
He has captained the team on several occasions this season and that could be a future role for the defender.
Arteta has placed a lot of faith in the club’s younger talent and Holding has really stepped up.
Holding has played 97 times for the Gunners and after penning a new deal there should be plenty more to come.
Last night’s game was a drab affair but a few weeks ago Arsenal might have lost.
Holding’s defending ensured the Gunners stood firm, however, justifying exactly why Arteta was so keen to hand him a new deal at the club.