Martin Keown has admitted that Rob Holding’s injury setback is a huge blow to Arsenal’s hopes for the rest of the season.
Holding was forced off in the first half of Arsenal’s thrilling 2-2 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford earlier this month following his impressive start to the Premier League campaign.
The England international has established himself as a first-choice in the Arsenal defence since Unai Emery took over the reins from Arsene Wenger in the summer.
Holding has started nine games and made one substitute appearance to help Arsenal challenge for an unlikely top-four finish in Emery’s first campaign.
However, the 23-year-old is set for a long spell on the sidelines as the former Bolton Wanderers defender recovers from his knee problem at Arsenal.
Emery will have to rely on Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Shkodran Mustafi, Nacho Monreal, Sead Kolasinac and Stephan Lichtsteiner to cover Holding.
However, former Arsenal defender Keown believes Holding will be a big miss for Emery and his team in the remaining months of the Premier League season.
“I met Rob Holding after Arsene Wenger’s last match,” Keown told The Daily Mail.
“He really impressed me and struck me as a defender incredibly eager to learn his trade.
“Unai Emery has clearly seen those traits since arriving at the club. He sent Calum Chambers out on loan but has given Holding the reins and played him whenever he could.
“The recent switch to a back three suggests that Emery wants to accommodate all three centre backs.
“Holding is not overcommitting as much as he did last season and passes the ball very well. He is a big loss.”
Holding moved to Arsenal in a £2m deal from Bolton in the 2016 summer transfer window following his impressive spell at the Reebok Stadium outfit.
The England defender has scored one goal in 59 games in all competitions for Arsenal under both Emery and Wenger.
MORE: Latest Arsenal news and views
MORE: Football transfer rumours and gossip
The post Martin Keown: Rob Holding’s injury is huge blow to Arsenal appeared first on The Sport Review.