Newcastle United are closing in on the signature of Arsenal defender Rob Holding on a season-long loan, according to The Athletic.
David Ornstein’s ‘exclusive’ states the 24-year-old could feature in the Gunners’ Community Shields clash with Liverpool today due to Arsenal’s shortage of fit centre-backs, but believes he will then put pen to paper at St James’ Park next week.
The piece claims that we look set to beat several clubs to his signature – despite Lee Ryder stating that Leeds are also in the running. Personal terms are yet to be agreed, not that they are anticipated to be an issue.
The Athletic also reveal that there is NOT expected to be an option to buy in the deal for the former England U-21 international:
Newcastle are winning the race to sign Arsenal defender Rob Holding on loan after the Community Shield on Saturday, reports David Ornstein.
A number of clubs were interested in Holding and a deal still needs to be finalised between the two sides. Personal terms also need to be agreed for the season-long loan. Yet it is set to be resolved after Saturday afternoon’s clash with Liverpool.
The 24-year-old will, however, be involved with Mikel Arteta’s squad for that match. Arteta is short on defenders due to quarantines for the likes of David Luiz and Sokratis and injuries to Shkodran Mustafi, Pablo Mari and Calum Chambers.
While Arsenal will soon be bolstered by the arrival of Gabriel from Lille, they are yet to confirm his signing and he is subject to a quarantine too.
That means Holding will play before a likely loan move that is viewed as a big boost for Steve Bruce. The deal is unlikely to include an option for a permanent deal.
Holding has spent the last four years at Arsenal after joining from Bolton. He has made 39 Premier League appearances in that time — although just 18 in the last two seasons after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury in December 2018.
For me this is a very bizarre signing based on our strength in depth at centre-back and one that could prove to be a waste of a domestic loan slot given we have limited money to spend on striker and can only borrow two players from Premier League teams over a season.
That said, Fabian Schar is set to be missing for another six weeks and this could also suggest Florian Lejeune’s time on Tyneside could be nearing an end? After all, he’s barely featured under Bruce and we may consider cashing in on both him and Schar to raise funds to spend elsewhere.
He could prove to be a shrewd addition, but right now I’m wondering if he’ll even start ahead of Jamaal Lascelles and Federico Fernandez…