£25,000-a-week defender signed long-term contract with Arsenal

The Spanish manager insists Rob Holding’s contribution to the London club both on and off the field has ‘impressed him since day one’ after the centre-back signed a new long-term deal. U21 England international was one of the few footballers to thrive under Unai Emery’s management, but a cruciate knee ligament injury robbed him of a year of his career.

Rob initially struggled to nail down a place in Arsenal and appeared destined to leave during the summer transfer window amid interest from both Leeds and Newcastle.

Holding, who was signed by Arsene Wenger in the summer of 2016, has fought hard to win back his place in the side and has been instrumental in his side’s recent improvement which has yielded four straight wins and three clean sheets.

Reacting to the 25-year-old defender’s decision to pen a new contract, Mikel Arteta said: ‘Since I started as a coach, I have been hugely impressed with Rob’s contribution to the club and the dressing room, on and off the pitch.’

‘The quality of his work every day on the training pitches is excellent and he is translating this into consistently high performances in matches. We all know Rob’s quality, which he has shown in his displays during the intense moments of those two FA Cup final victories.’

‘We are all very happy that Rob has signed a new contract, he is very popular with all the players and staff, and we’re looking forward to watching him continue to grow with us in the coming years.’ Technical director Edu, meanwhile, added: ‘We are very happy to have signed Rob on a new contract extension.’