Arsenal make U-turn as England U-21 defender stays at the club

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Arsenal defender Rob Holding will stay at the club after being linked with Newcastle United, according to reports.

The Gunners are spoiled for choice at centre-back heading into the new season. Gabriel Magalhaes signed for Arsenal for around £27m earlier in the window from Lille. William Saliba has also returned to the club after his loan spell with Saint-Ettiene.

Mikel Arteta also has David Luiz, Sokratis Papastathopoulous, Shkodran Mustafi, Calum Chambers and Pablo Mari at his disposal.

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There are also only two positions up for grabs at centre-back. Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolasinac are set to battle it out to start on the left side of Arsenal’s back three.

With the season getting underway in a few days, Arteta seems willing to let one or two defenders depart the club. Holding looked to be one set to leave, as he was linked with a move to Newcastle.

Talks were ongoing between the Magpies and Arsenal, with the clubs close to agreeing on a loan deal for the defender.

Holding started Arsenal’s Community Shield tie against Liverpool. Arteta’s side won 5-4 on penalties after the game finished 1-1 after 90-minutes

The England U21 international impressed in that game, and now Arteta has changed his mind about letting him leave the club this window.

Sky Sports have reported, as cited by the Metro, that Arsenal wish to keep Holding this season as he is a part of Arteta’s plans.

Holding moved to Arsenal from Bolton Wanderers in July 2016 for around £2m. The 24-year-old has featured 79 times for the Gunners in all competitions in his four years at the club.

In the 2019/20 campaign, Holding only made eight Premier League appearances, with two of those outings coming off the bench.

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