Leeds tipped to sign struggling Premier League defender

Rob Holding blocks a shot from Patrick Bamford

Leeds United are no longer the perennial bottlers. 

In 2018/19, Marcelo Bielsa’s side crumbled at the final hurdle and failed to achieve promotion.

However, a year on, they were evaporating those memories by winning the Championship.

It was a bumpy ride at times but they finally prevailed. The Whites eventually finished ten points above West Brom and had the chance to celebrate their first trophy since 1992.

This has been a period in the wilderness for one of the biggest clubs in the country.

Gone are the days of European football, but it wouldn’t be too surprising if that in a few years, they find themselves back among Europe’s elite.

However, let’s not count our chickens before they’ve hatched. There is a lot of work to be done before that becomes a reality.

Marcelo Bielsa Championship trophy

Leeds will need to spend well in the transfer window for European dreams to be considered. Ben White has been the club’s main target but there are two other central defenders that have now emerged on their radar.

They happen to be Robin Koch and Arsenal centre-back Rob Holding.

The Gunners are on the verge of signing Gabriel from Lille and after landing Pablo Mari earlier this summer, have a plethora of defensive options.

Thus, Holding could be allowed to leave. Reacting to those rumours, former Leeds man Noel Whelan has tipped the Yorkshire side to bring him to Elland Road.

Rob Holding and Mikel Arteta

Speaking to Football Insider, he commented: “He is of the right age and Leeds will not sign him if they are worried about an injury.

“He has a lot of Premier League experience and it feels like he has been around forever for a player that is only 24. He has not hit the best stages of his football yet and given a good run in the side you will see a better player, a more consistent player.

“He has been in and out at Arsenal but I would not grumble if he comes through the door at Elland Road. The more Premier League experience the better as far as I am concerned.”

Holding is currently valued at £8.5m, via Transfermarkt.

Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin

GIVEMESPORT’S Matt Dawson says…

It’s crazy to think that Holding is still only 24. To the eyes of many at the Emirates Stadium, he is still a young defender learning his trade, but at that age, he should be playing football on a regular basis.

Yes, injuries have hindered him but a huge amount of game time doesn’t look achievable at Arsenal. 

Boasting Premier League and big-match experience, he’d be a valuable signing for a top-flight side looking to improve their backline. After all, he’s been schooled well by the likes of Arsene Wenger and Steve Bould.

Rob Holding

Coincidentally, Holding has history with Leeds. He kept a clean sheet against the Whites when Arsenal beat them in last season’s FA Cup but was absolutely torn apart when he played for Bolton.

Leeds defeated the Trotters 2-1 back in March 2016 and Holding was in abject form at the back. Mirco Antenucci gave him a torrid afternoon, scoring twice as the defender failed to make a single successful tackle.

Clearly, the centre-back has improved since that outing though. 

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