Fulham chase late deal for Arsenal defender Rob Holding

Fulham appear to be pursuing a late move for Arsenal’s out-of-favour defender Rob Holding.

Rob Holding

The Cottagers have endured a fairly solid start to the 2023/24 Premier League, having registered a win, draw and loss over their trio of opening league fixtures. Marco Silva wants to improve on last year’s mid-table finish and is eyeing multiple deals before the transfer window slams shut later this week.

Indeed, having already sealed deals for Raul Jimenez, Calvin Bassey, Adama Traore and Timothy Castagne, Fulham are understood to also be chasing late deals for Sevilla forward Lucas Ocampos and Everton midfielder Alex Iwobi. In addition, they are also looking to strengthen the defence that has conceded five goals in the opening three games of the new season, with Marco Silva reportedly eyeing a move for Rob Holding.

Holding, 27, is well down the defensive pecking order at the Emirates Stadium, and having entered the final year of his contract, Arsenal are ready to cash him in this summer. Due to Mikel Arteta preferring the likes of William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes, Ben White and Jakub Kiwior ahead of him, Holding is now surplus to requirements at Arsenal and could leave.

This has led to interest abroad from clubs in the Bundesliga, La Liga and Ligue 1, while Fulham from the English top flight have enquired about the 27-year-old.

Fulham make enquiry for Arsenal defender Rob Holding

Having spent £208m on four signings so far this summer, Arsenal need to balance their books and trim the squad before Friday’s transfer deadline. Rob Holding is one of many players who could leave the club, and the Gunners would prefer a sale over a loan deal.

Holding’s situation at Arsenal have caught the attention of Fulham, who are on the hunt for a new central defender amid Tosin Adarabioyo’s exit links. Adarabioyo is now into the final year of his deal and is set to move for pastures new, with Tottenham and AS Monaco vying for the Nigerian defender’s signature.

Thus, the option to join Fulham should be appealing to Holding, who hasn’t even been named on the bench for any of Arsenal’s opening three Premier League matches so far. Since arriving from Bolton Wanderers in 2016, the Englishman has made 162 appearances for the north London side and chipped in with five goals.

While he may not be able to break into Arteta’s side, Holding remains a proven commodity in the top flight and should add value to the Fulham squad. He will potentially be a solid replacement for Adarabioyo, whilst competing with the likes of Calvin Bassey, Tim Ream and Issa Diop for a place in Silva’s first XI.

Perhaps, a second chance to showcase his talents on the pitch regularly at Fulham is exactly what Holding needs.

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